Oil pulls back amid New York coronavirus curbs, gains for a 6th week

By Jessica Resnick-Ault NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices settled lower on Friday, as demand worries due to new coronavirus-related restrictions on business in New York overshadowed progress toward vaccination programs. Brent futures settled down 28 cents, or 0.6% at $49.97 a barrel.

Reuters December 12, 2020 04:06:40 IST
Oil pulls back amid New York coronavirus curbs, gains for a 6th week

coronavirus curbs, gains for a 6th week" src="https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/uploads/reuters/12-2020/12/2020-12-11T101519Z_2_LYNXMPEGBA038_RTROPTP_2_GLOBAL-OIL-TAX-HAVENS.jpg" alt="Oil pulls back amid New York coronavirus curbs gains for a 6th week" width="300" height="225" />

By Jessica Resnick-Ault

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices settled lower on Friday, as demand worries due to new coronavirus -related restrictions on business in New York overshadowed progress toward vaccination programs.

Brent futures settled down 28 cents, or 0.6% at $49.97 a barrel. The contract rose above $51 a barrel on Thursday to an early-March high.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 21 cents, or 0.5%, to $46.57, having risen almost 3% in the previous session.

"Restrictions in New York are weighing on prices," said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures for Mizuho in New York. On Thursday, funds had placed net long bets as Brent topped $50 a barrel. "As we approach the close, the speculator community is reluctant to go home with a net long position," he said.

Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered New York City restaurants to suspend indoor dining effective Monday, amid an uptick in cases. [L1N2IR1QA]

For the week, Brent was up 1.5% and WTI was up less than 1%. That was the sixth consecutive week of gains for the first time since June.

Promising vaccine trials have helped lift some gloom over record increases in the number of coronavirus infections and deaths around the world, and Cuomo sounded a note of optimism, saying he expected 170,000 doses of Pfizer's vaccine to be in New York by Sunday or Monday.

Britain began inoculations this week and the United States could start vaccinations as early as the coming weekend, while Canada on Wednesday approved its first vaccine with initial shots due from next week.

Outside advisers for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have voted to endorse emergency use of Pfizer's vaccine, paving the way for the agency to authorise its use in a nation where COVID-19 has killed more than 285,000.

"The vaccine optimism ... seems to continue unscathed due to the back-to-back approvals vaccines are getting and the quicker-than-previously-thought rollout of the first campaigns in key markets," Rystad Energy analyst Paola Rodriguez-Masiu said.

A big jump in U.S. crude stockpiles last week served as a reminder that there is still plenty of supply available, but it was all but ignored as bulls ran through the market this week. [EIA/S]

Another signal of abundant supplies came on Friday as U.S. energy firms this week added the most oil and natural gas rigs in a week since January as producers keep returning to the wellpad. [RIG/U]

"The long-awaited rollout of vaccination programmes provided ample bullish fodder in the face of rising U.S. oil inventories," brokerage PVM's Stephen Brennock said.

A fall in world shares as markets confronted the risk of Britain leaving the European Union without a trade deal weighed on sentiment.

On Friday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said a deal was unlikely.

(Additional reporting by Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo and Ahmad Ghaddar in London; Editing by Marguerita Choy and John Stonestreet)

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

Norway imposes new restrictions to prevent new wave, says PM
World

Norway imposes new restrictions to prevent new wave, says PM

OSLO (Reuters) -Norway will impose fresh restrictions to prevent a resurgence in the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Sunday, including a nationwide ban on serving alcohol in restaurants and bars and not inviting guests home.

Indigenous Venezuelan man accused of raiding military post dies in jail: rights group
World

Indigenous Venezuelan man accused of raiding military post dies in jail: rights group

(Reuters) - A Venezuelan member of the Pemon indigenous group accused of aiding a raid on a military post in late 2019 died on Sunday in a jail close to capital Caracas, rights group Penal Forum said in a tweet. Salvador Franco died just weeks after family members and activists reported he was suffering from health problems.

Norway imposes new restrictions to prevent new COVID-19 wave, says PM
World

Norway imposes new restrictions to prevent new COVID-19 wave, says PM

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway will impose fresh restrictions to prevent a resurgence in the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Sunday, including a nationwide ban on serving alcohol in restaurants and bars and not inviting guests home.