Oil edges higher on vaccine optimism with Asia demand robust

Oil rose as more countries approved COVID-19 vaccines, boosting the demand outlook and shrugging off a bumper increase in U.S. crude inventories.

There are continuing signs of robust demand in Asia with Chinese refiners moving early to buy oil from as far afield as the North Sea. Indian Oil Corp., which has been seeking to buy spot crude cargoes in recent days, said the nation’s petroleum products consumption is almost back to normal.

Crude has surged to near a nine-month high, and benchmark Brent is trading just shy of $50 a barrel. Canada became the latest country to approve a COVID vaccine and Chicago said it will offer inoculations free of charge to all adults next year. These helped traders on Thursday dismiss the second-biggest increase ever in U.S. crude inventories.

“The pulse of oil markets remains wedged between the push-and-pull stemming from rising virus cases in the U.S. and Europe,” and potential COVID-19 vaccines, said Ehsan Khoman, head of MENA research at MUFG Bank Ltd.

Prices

  • West Texas Intermediate for January delivery rose 0.9 per cent to $45.92 a barrel as of 10:09 a.m. in London
  • Brent for February settlement increased 0.9 per cent to $49.31

The oil market’s price structure remains robust. Brent’s nearest timespread is trading in a bullish backwardation – where nearby futures are more expensive than later ones –– indicating relatively tight supplies.

The oil market’s price structure remains robust. Brent’s nearest timespread is trading in a bullish backwardation – where nearby futures are more expensive than later ones –– indicating relatively tight supplies.

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Dear user, please be aware that we use cookies to help users navigate our website content and to help us understand how we can improve the user experience. If you have ideas for how we can improve our services, we’d love to hear from you. Click here to email us. By continuing to browse you agree to our use of cookies. Please see our Privacy & Cookie Usage Policy to learn more.