Oil gains on vaccine hopes, tanker blast in Saudi Arabia

Oil gains on vaccine hopes, tanker blast in Saudi Arabia

Oil prices climbed on Monday with the Brent surpassing the $50 level, lifted by hopes that a COVID-19 vaccine rollout will boost global fuel demand. Still, a tanker blast in Saudi Arabia unnerved the market.

Brent oil futures for February delivery gained 0.8%, or 38 cents, at $50.35 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate oil futures rose 0.7%, or 32 cents, at $46.89 per barrel. Both contracts rallied for six straight weeks, their longest since June. 

Prices rose amid supply disturbance after an oil tanker exploded off the Jeddah port in Saudi Arabia. An extension of the EU-Britain Brexit talks also supported financial markets on Monday.

Meanwhile, the United States started its COVID-19 vaccination campaign, boosting hopes that restrictions will be lifted soon at the world’s biggest oil consumer.

OPEC’s joint ministerial monitoring committee is set to meet on Dec. 16 to evaluate the compliance rate among members. OPEC and its allies will also meet on Jan. 4 to assess output policy for next year. 

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