Oil demand inches up fueled by COVID-19 vaccine hopes


Shafaq News/ Oil prices rose on Monday, pushing Brent back above $50 a barrel, spurred by hopes that a rollout of COVID-19 vaccines will lift global fuel demand.

Brent crude futures for February rose 33 cents, or 0.66%, to $50.30 a barrel by 05:18 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for January were up 29 cents, or 0.62%, at $46.86 a barrel.

Oil prices have rallied for six consecutive weeks, their longest stretch of gains since June.

The United States kicked off its vaccination campaign against COVID-19, buoying hopes that pandemic restrictions could end soon and lift demand at the world’s largest oil consumer.

Major European countries continued in lockdown mode to curb the spread of COVID-19, which has reduced fuel demand. For example, Germany, the fourth-largest economy globally, plans to impose stricter lockdown from Wednesday to battle the virus.

Investors are looking ahead to two meetings between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, a grouping known as OPEC+.

The OPEC+ joint ministerial monitoring committee (JMMC) that monitors compliance among members will meet on Dec. 16, while OPEC+ will meet on Jan. 4 to study the market after their last decision to limit production rises to 500,000 barrels per day starting next year.

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