Saturday, 24th February, 2024
Saturday, 24th February, 2024

Oil edges higher after Brexit deal, gains capped by pandemic

Oil prices inched higher on Thursday, helped by late-day buying in a low-volume session to close out the week.

The market built gains overnight as Britain and the European Union reached a post-Brexit trade deal, reversed those gains, and then rebounded during the U.S. session to end modestly higher.

U.S West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 settled up 11 cents to $48.23 a barrel, while Brent crude futures settled 9 cents higher at $51.29. Volumes were light on the last trading day before the Christmas holiday.

For the week, U.S. crude fell 1.6% while Brent lost 2%.

Markets have rallied sharply since late October as vaccines progressed to approval in numerous countries. Worldwide, infections are still growing, and investors’ outlook will be clouded by the pandemic for several months.

“While the Brexit deal is supportive, the impact of COVID is the dominant driver in the oil market,” said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates, in Houston, Texas. “The oil market is waiting for the wider distribution of vaccines to get the public back on the road and in the air.”

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