Oil jumps 4% on latest Covid-19 vaccine progress

Oil prices jumped more than 4% on Monday, recouping the previous session’s losses after Moderna Inc said its experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19.

Brent crude futures for January were up $1.79, or 4.2%, to $44.57 a barrel by 1420 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for December was up $1.84, or 4.6%, at $41.97.

“Vaccine euphoria has already been priced in heavily since last week, but a second remedy to COVID-19 shows that a large-scale vaccination programme, with sufficient amounts for the global population, is somewhat closer now,” said Rystad Energy analyst Louise Dickson.

The announcement by Moderna comes after Pfizer Inc reported last week that its vaccine was more than 90% effective, raising hopes that pandemic-driven damage to the global economy could be reduced.

Prices were also buoyed by data showing a rebound in China and Japan, with figures showing that Chinese refineries processed record daily levels of crude in October.

Both WTI and Brent gained more than 8% last week on hopes of a vaccine and expecttaion that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, including Russia, would maintain lower output next year to support prices.

The group, known as OPEC+, has been cutting production by about 7.7 million barrels a day (bpd), with compliance seen at 96% in October, and had planned to increase output by 2 million bpd from January.

OPEC+ is set to hold a ministerial committee meeting on Tuesday that could recommend changes to production quotas when all the ministers meet on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

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“There is no denying that the oil market is fully in the hands of OPEC+,” said SEB chief commodity analyst Bjarne Schieldrop. “The organisation is the only reason why oil prices today are not $20 a barrel. As such, their upcoming meeting on Nov 30-Dec 1 is no less hugely important.”



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