Oil prices fall on U.S. stockpile build, but vaccine hopes cap losses
Oil prices fell on Wednesday due to worries about a sudden rise in U.S. crude stockpile last week. However, positive news about COVID-19 vaccines boosted investors’ hopes for a fuel demand recovery.
Brent crude futures fell 0.3%, or 13 cents, at $48.71 per barrel after climbing 5 cents on Tuesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures slid 0.3%, or 15 cents, at $45.45 per barrel following a 16-cent slip in the last session.
U.S. crude oil, including gasoline and distillate stocks rose sharply in the previous week, with crude inventories climbing by 1.14 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations for a 1.41-million barrel drawdown.
Meanwhile, Britain began the mass vaccination of its citizens on Tuesday in a global drive to end the coronavirus pandemic.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine of any red flags over its efficacy and safety.
The positive vaccine news offset fears from a sudden rise in global COVID-19 cases that led to stricter lockdowns in the state of California and elsewhere.