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Oil Prices Extend Gains on COVID Vaccine Hopes, OPEC

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Oil prices extended gains on Monday as traders eyed a recovery in crude demand thanks to successful coronavirus vaccine trials, although prices were contained by renewed lockdowns in several countries.

Sentiment was also bolstered by hopes that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries OPEC, Russia and other producers, a group known as OPEC, will keep crude output in check.

Brent crude futures rose 21 cents, or 0.5, to 45.17 a barrel by 0436 GMT while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 10 cents, or 0.2, to 42.52 a barrel. Both benchmarks jumped 5 last week.

Positive sentiment continues to be driven by the recent good news about the efficacy of coronavirus vaccines in development and the expectation that the OPEC meeting at the end of this month could see the group extend current cuts by 36 months, said Stephen Innes, Chief Global Markets Strategist at axi.

U.S. healthcare workers and others recommended that the nations first COVID19 inoculations could start getting shots within a day or two of regulatory consent next month, a top official of the governments vaccine development effort said on Sunday.

Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser for Operation Warp Speed, said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration FDA would likely grant approval in midDecember for distribution of the vaccine produced by Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech, launching the largest inoculation campaign in U.S. history.

OPEC, which meets on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, is…

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