Oil Appreciates As Vaccine Progress Boosts Outlook For Demand


Yemisi Izuora

Oil rose a second day after more positive news on a coronavirus vaccine lifted optimism on the outlook for demand, and as Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC and its allies moved closer to delaying a production increase planned for January.

Futures in New York rose as much as 0.3 per cent, after gaining 3 per cent  on Monday.

Moderna Inc. revealed that its vaccine had 94.5 per cent efficacy in a preliminary analysis of a large, late-stage clinical trial. That followed similar positive developments from Pfizer Inc. on its vaccination last week, which buoyed risk assets globally. Prices were also supported by a monthly rebound in China’s oil processing.

European consumption is wavering as lockdowns re-emerge, and in the U.S. comments from two of President -elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus advisers signal they favor more targeted local measures.

The uneven demand outlook presents a challenge for OPEC+, whose monitoring committee meets Tuesday before a key policy gathering at the end of the month to decide on production.

A technical panel that advises OPEC+ ministers suggested the producer group consider delaying its planned output boost by three to six months.

The coalition led by Saudi Arabia and Russia is scheduled to increase crude production by almost 2 million barrels a day in January. The Joint Technical Committee came to the view that risks for the oil market are skewed to the downside.

A postponement of the planned output hike would go some way to offsetting the increase in supply coming from Libya. Rivals in the country’s civil war agreed to bolster a paramilitary unit formed to protect energy infrastructure, a step that could help sustain the recent surge in the nation’s oil production.

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