Oil rose for the fourth straight session on Wednesday as the market shrugged off an industry report showing US crude stockpiles rose more than expected, extending a rally driven by hopes that a COVID-19 vaccine will boost fuel demand.
Shares of oil exploration & production companies were in focus on Wednesday in an otherwise volatile market as oil prices hit their highest level since March amid news flow related to smooth USA presidency transition and encouraging developments on the Covid-19 vaccine front.
Besides, in the latest flashpoint of an auspicious development in pandemic vaccine, British drugmaker AstraZeneca said late on Monday that its pandemic vaccine which it had developed in combination with the University of Oxford, could be 90 per cent effective, overturning an earlier statement that said the AstraZeneca vaccines were 62 per cent effective in late-stage human trials, fleshing up investors' hopes.More news: Google brings 'The Mandalorian' to AR in its new app
Oil's value has risen by more than a quarter this month amid positive vaccine results. US West Texas Intermediate crude settled at $44.91 a barrel, rising $1.85, or 4.3 per cent.
Brent crude rose $1.16, or 2.5%, to $47.22 a barrel by 1445 GMT and hit a session peak of $47.23, its highest since March 6.
Brent rose to a session high of $46.56 earlier on Tuesday, the highest level traded since early March before Saudi Arabia initiated a price war with Russian Federation, which sent oil prices crashing. Brent's prompt timespread and the so-called WTI red spread - which measures futures for December of next year to December 2022 - have both flipped to backwardation this week, a bullish signal that suggests the market may be moving into deficit.More news: Players Travel to Vatican City
Expectations that USA crude inventories edged lower last week also added support.
Also supporting oil and wider financial markets, U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday allowed officials to proceed with a transition to Joe Biden's administration.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a note that it expects OPEC+ to delay its planned 2 million barrel a day output ramp-up by three months.More news: New Orleans Pelicans sign All-Star forward Brandon Ingram to max contract extension
SOMO has revised the price mechanism used to compensate buyers for fluctuations in the density of its crude exports, starting with shipments in 2021, according to a November 23 notice to clients reviewed by Reuters.