U.S. West Texas Intermediate is trading lower on Friday. The catalysts behind the selling pressure are fears over skyrocketing COVID-19 cases and their negative effect on the global demand recovery. Nonetheless, the market remains on track to finish higher for a second consecutive week, helped by vaccine hopes.
This week’s strength was primarily driven by data that showed an experimental COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Pfizer Inc and Germany’s BioNTech was 90% effective.
Also providing support was the notion that OPEC+ may delay implementing a planned loosening of output cuts agreed in a deal this year.
An escalation of COVID-19 cases in the United States is taking center stage on Friday. New coronavirus infections in the U.S. and elsewhere are at record levels and tightening economic restrictions to contain the spread have dampened the prospect of a near-term end to the global health crisis.
Additionally, the International Energy Agency (IEA) threw cold water on the vaccine news when it said on Thursday that global oil demand is unlikely to get a significant boost from the rollout of vaccines against COVID-19 until well into 2021.
U.S. crude oil inventories rose unexpectedly last week while gasoline and distillate stockpiles fell, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Thursday.
Crude inventories rose by 4.3 million barrels in the week ended November 6 to 488.7 million barrels,…