Oil prices rise, touch 9-month high on U.S. stimulus progress

By Jessica Resnick-Ault NEW YORK (Reuters) -Oil climbed on Thursday and touched a nine-month high, with traders optimistic about progress toward a U.S. fiscal stimulus deal and strong Asian demand

Reuters December 18, 2020 00:06:17 IST
Oil prices rise, touch 9-month high on U.S. stimulus progress

Oil prices rise touch 9month high on US stimulus progress

By Jessica Resnick-Ault

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Oil climbed on Thursday and touched a nine-month high, with traders optimistic about progress toward a U.S. fiscal stimulus deal and strong Asian demand.

Record-breaking refining demand in China and India lent further strength to the market.

U.S. lawmakers edged closer to agreement on a $900 billion virus-relief spending package on Wednesday.

The U.S. dollar set a 2-1/2 year low against major rivals on Thursday which also helped oil because crude priced in the greenback becomes cheaper for buyers holding other currencies.

Brent crude futures were up 34 cents at $51.42 a barrel by 12:38 p.m. EST (1638 GMT), and touched a session high of $51.90.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose by 45 cents to $48.27 a barrel, with a session high of $48.59. Both benchmarks hit their highest since early March.

"Asia was ahead of the curve in recovery mode from the coronavirus ," said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures in Chicago. "Looking at what we're seeing in Asia is raising expectations that in the New Year we will see a rapid increase in crude oil demand, as the vaccine rolls out in the U.S.," he said.

The United States on Thursday expanded its campaign to deliver COVID-19 vaccine shots.

U.S. crude inventories fell by 3.1 million barrels in the week to Dec. 11, the Energy Information Administration said, far more than analysts' expectations of a 1.9-million-barrel drop.

"It seems to be a much better festive season than most bullish traders could expect for. But whether oil prices can remain as high and keep these gains is still questionable amid the demand destruction lockdowns are causing," said Bjornar Tonhaugen at Rystad Energy.

(Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan and Dmitry Zhdannikov; Editing by Tom Hogue, Susan Fenton, Elaine Hardcastle and David Gregorio)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Moderna raises 2021 vaccine output forecast to at least 600 million doses
World

Moderna raises 2021 vaccine output forecast to at least 600 million doses

(Reuters) -Moderna Inc said on Monday it would produce at least 600 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in 2021, up by 100 million doses from its previous forecast, as the United States continues to roll-out the vaccine. The company was working to invest and hire in order to deliver up to 1 billion doses this year, the higher end of its production forecast, it said

On thin ice? Poles get creative to skate round coronavirus rules
World

On thin ice? Poles get creative to skate round coronavirus rules

WARSAW (Reuters) - A skating rink owner in the Polish city of Szczecin believes he has found a way to keep his business open despite coronavirus restrictions - operate as a flower shop instead. His plan is simple - the customer has to purchase access to the flower "warehouse", then chooses from a box of flowers in the middle of the rink. "You can jump, crawl or go on all fours ..

Yemeni boy, ravaged by hunger, weighs 7 kg
World

Yemeni boy, ravaged by hunger, weighs 7 kg

By Reuters Staff SANAA (Reuters) - Paralysed and severely malnourished, seven-year-old Faid Samim lies curled up on a hospital bed in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, having barely survived the journey there.  "He was almost gone when he arrived but thank God we were able to do what was necessary and he started improving. He is suffering from CP (cerebral palsy) and severe malnutrition," said Rageh Mohammed, the supervising doctor of the Al-Sabeen hospital's malnutrition ward.