Oil rises as full U.S. clearance for COVID-19 vaccine stokes demand hopes


Oil prices rose on Tuesday after the U.S. drug regulator granted full approval to the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, stoking investor hopes that higher fuel demand would follow a potential rise in U.S. coronavirus vaccination rates.

Brent crude oil futures were up 46 cents to $69.21 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) had gained 34 cents to $65.98.

Both benchmarks jumped more than 5% on Monday, helped by a weaker U.S. dollar, after marking their biggest week of losses in more than nine months last week.

Also boosting prices, U.S. crude and gasoline inventories declined last week, while distillate stockpiles are expected to have increased.

Indian refiners’ crude throughput in July bounced to its highest in three months as fuel demand rebounded, which supported prices.

The rapid spread of the highly infectious Delta variant of the novel coronavirus and low vaccination rates in Asia, overall, however, capped price gains as fuel demand is suppressed.

The U.S. Department of Energy said Monday it would sell up to 20 million barrels of crude from the emergency oil reserve to comply with legislation passed in recent years, with deliveries of the oil to take place between Oct. 1 and Dec. 15.

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