Oil prices, which were moving down at the start of the US session, reversed the trend and ended up in a market hoping for a new stimulus plan in the United States, which could boost consumption of black gold.
Read also :Oil: Opep production increased in December
A barrel of North Sea Brent for March delivery rose 36 cents or 0.64% in London from the previous day’s close to $ 56.42. The US barrel of WTI for the month of February, for its part, gained 66 cents or 1.25%, to 53.37 dollars. This is the highest closing price for WTI since the end of February 2020.
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US President-elect Joe Biden is due to unveil this Thursday evening measures supposed to help the United States emerge from the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The future Democratic tenant of the White House, whose term will officially begin on January 20, has promised “Trillions of dollars” to revive the US economy. A restart of activity should benefit oil demand, greatly reduced by confinements and limited travel during the coronavirus pandemic.
During the session this Thursday, investors took note of the monthly report of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). After global demand for crude fell by 9.8 million barrels per day last year due to the pandemic and the slowdown or even virtual shutdown of certain activities, such as air transport, Opep still expects a rebound of 5.9 million barrels per day in 2021. “While the organization has left its demand forecasts for this year unchanged, it has underlined the risks for the economic recovery in 2021”, noted Craig Erlam, Oanda analyst.
Investors have also digested data on crude oil reserves in the United States, which fell 3.2 million barrels last week, according to a report by the United States Energy Information Agency (EIA ) aired Wednesday. But this report also has “Betrayed the short-term weakness of gasoline demand”, said Neil Wilson of Markets.com. US gasoline reserves have indeed increased by 4.4 million barrels, while analysts expected an increase half as much. Also on the rise, stocks of distilled products (fuel oil and heating gas), barometers of industrial activity.
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