Oil climbs as slowing COVID-19 cases spur hopes of a demand recovery

FILE PHOTO: A worker walks on the heliport at the Brazil’s Petrobras P-66 oil rig in the offshore Santos basin in Rio de Janeiro Reuters

Oil prices rose on Tuesday as slowing new coronavirus cases sparked hopes that demand will recover for the commodity.

West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 2.4% to $US42.94 a barrel, while international benchmark Brent crude gained nearly 2% to $US45.78 per barrel at intraday highs Tuesday.

In the US, new coronavirus cases appear to be slowing as the number of people hospitalized for the illness fell below 50,000 for the first time in a month. In addition, sentiment was lifted by hopes that the US will pass further stimulus for coronavirus relief, and Russia’s announcement that it registered the first COVID-19 vaccine.

Read more:
A Wall Street expert breaks down why investors should be giving more weight to small companies in their portfolios – and says these 4 sectors are set to boom amid the pandemic fallout

Oil has struggled to recover amid the coronavirus pandemic, which hit market demand for the commodity at the same time a price war broke out between OPEC and its allies, weighing on prices. As the US and the world slowly reopen from pandemic-related shutdowns, oil has trended higher.

On Monday, oil also got a boost after Saudi Aramco’s CEO Amin Nasser said he sees oil demand in Asia returning to pre-pandemic levels as the economy reopens and activity resumes.

The gains Tuesday come ahead of a weekly report from the US Energy Information Administration that analysts forecast will show the third straight drop in American crude stockpiles. In the coming weeks, OPEC, the EIA, and the International Energy Agency will also release monthly reports on the oil market.

Screen Shot 2020 08 11 at 10.02.30 AM