Oil prices rose on Monday, pushing Brent back above 50 a barrel, buoyed by hopes that a rollout of coronavirus vaccines will lift global fuel demand while a tanker explosion in Saudi Arabia jangled nerves in the market.
Brent crude futures for February rose 38 cents, or 0.8, to 50.35 a barrel by 0454 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for January were up 32 cents, or 0.7, at 46.89 a barrel.
Prices also extended gains amid supply jitters after a shipping firm said its oil tanker exploded after being hit by an external source while discharging at Jeddah port in Saudi Arabia.
Brent and WTI have rallied for six consecutive weeks, their longest stretch of gains since June.
The United States kicked off its vaccination campaign against COVID19, buoying hopes that pandemic restrictions could end soon and lift demand at the worlds largest oil consumer.
An extension of Brexit talks among European powers also buoyed financial markets on Monday.
CMC Markets chief markets strategist Michael McCarthy asked Having bought the rumour of an effective vaccine, now that delivery is here will investors sell the fact?
Major European countries continued in lockdown mode to curb the spread of COVID19 which has reduced fuel demand. For example, Germany, the fourth largest economy in the world, plans to impose stricter lockdown from Wednesday to battle the virus.
Investors are looking ahead to two meetings between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and…