On Monday, 14 December, oil prices increased by 0.7% due to the positive news of Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s approval of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States and Canada. It is also important to note the increase in demand for petroleum products in the Asian region, which as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, reduces the negative impact of poor consumption in Europe. Expectations of the introduction of a new package of stimulus initiatives in the United States provided additional support for oil prices.
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Brent crude oil’s February futures traded in positive territory and rose by 0.67 percent at $50.36, WTI crude oil’s January futures also rose by 0.9 percent to $46.99.
The news of Pfizer and BioNTech’s approval of the coronavirus vaccine in the United States and Canada was a crucial factor promoting the price rise for ‘black gold’. In the European Union, certification of vaccines is planned shortly, which will improve the efficacy of infection control steps. This is particularly true for Germany, where as of December 16, a hard lockdown will be reintroduced.
Moreover the recovery in demand for fuel in Asia is lead to the rise in oil prices. In the midst of a recovery in economic activity in the region, China, India, Japan and South Korea are rising their oil consumption and refining volumes. In Western countries, this partly negates the negative effects of the pandemic.
The hopes of early acceptance of a new package of stimulus initiatives in the United States are also worth remembering. A $908 billion agreed-upon bill is set to be introduced on Monday by a bipartisan group of senators, but there are still no assurances that it will be accepted by Congress.
As regards the oil market figures, data were released on Friday from the American oilfield services company Baker Hughes on the number of active drilling rigs in the USA. The indicator increased by 12 units to 258 units, which was a record value since May of this year, according to the results of the week ended December 11.