Brent touches $45/bbl on vaccine hopes and U.S. crude drawdown
By Jessica Resnick-Ault NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global oil benchmark Brent rose on Wednesday, briefly touching a more than two-month high above $45 a barrel on hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine that could boost demand and later pulling back as concerns about rising cases overtook bullish news. Brent settled up 19 cents, or 0.4%, at $43.80 a barrel, after earlier trading at a session peak of $45.30 - the first time it has cleared the $45 threshold since early September. U.S.
By Jessica Resnick-Ault
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global oil benchmark Brent rose on Wednesday, briefly touching a more than two-month high above $45 a barrel on hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine that could boost demand and later pulling back as concerns about rising cases overtook bullish news.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude
Both Brent and WTI prices are up about 11% this week after initial trial data showed the experimental COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Pfizer Inc
Still, concerns about rising cases weighed on the market.
"The record number of cases is enough to snap everyone back to reality," said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York.
The expectation that a vaccine could restore demand for transportation fuels is critical for oil, said John Kilduff, founding partner at Again Capital.
"Transportation across the board has been so impacted by the pandemic that getting past it would revive demand for those fuels, which is what the petroleum complex needs."
Renewed restrictions in Europe and the United States to combat the coronavirus have slowed fuel demand recovery, offsetting a rebound in Asian economies where consumption has almost returned to pre-COVID levels.
U.S. crude stockpiles last week fell 5.1 million barrels to about 482 million barrels, industry group data showed on Tuesday, compared with expectations for a reduction of 913,000 barrels in a Reuters poll of analysts. [API/S] [EIA/S]
Government data will be issued on Thursday, delayed a day due to the U.S. Veterans Day holiday on Wednesday.
Algeria's energy minister said that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies could extend oil production cuts into 2021, or even deepen them. Saudi Arabia's energy minister had said on Monday that supply pact could be "tweaked".
(Additional eporting by Koustav Samanta, Aaron Sheldrick and Noah Browning; Editing by Edmund Blair, David Goodman, Marguerita Choy and Sonya Hepinstall)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.