Oil slides as spike in COVID-19 cases outweigh vaccine news
Oil futures slid on Thursday, slashing yesterday’s gains as a spike in coronavirus infections and stricter lockdowns globally offset fears over fuel demand and outweighed positive vaccine news.
Brent crude futures fell 0.4%, or 17 cents, at $44.17 per barrel following a 1.4% gain on the previous day. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 0.7%, or 29 cents, at $41.53 per barrel after gaining 1% on Wednesday.
U.S. coronavirus death toll exceeded 250,000 on Wednesday, while Australia reported a highly contagious virus strain that prompted a state-wide lockdown.
Fears about economic damage outweighed positive news from Pfizer and BioNTech seeking U.S. and European authorization for their COVID-19 vaccines.
U.S. crude stockpile climbed 768,ooo barrels last week, less than analysts’ expectations for a 1.7 million-barrel rise. Distillate inventories, including diesel and heating oil, dropped by 5.2 million barrels.
OPEC and its allies are set to meet on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 to discuss output policy. The group is leaning toward maintaining the current 7.7 million bpd cut until January.