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Gulf Today Report
Oil prices jumped on Monday after a slow start, although the delay in coronavirus vaccine rollout and discovery of new variants have cast a shadow over the outlook for demand.
Brent crude futures were up 36 cents, or 0.7%, at $55.40 a barrel while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) gained 24 cents, or 0.5%, to $52.44. Both benchmarks gained nearly 8% in January.
Vaccination drives in various countries and output cut by major producers have supported oil prices.
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Oil demand is likely to increase as more vaccines trials are proving successful and rate of infections reducing in some areas.
According to a report, oil prices are expected to remain around current levels for most of this year before a recovery gains ground towards the end of 2021.
US output is rising and was above 11 million barrels per day in November for the first time since April, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Brent crude was down 37 cents, or 0.5%, at $67.63 a barrel by 05:35 GMT while US oil was also down 32 cents, or 0.5%, at $64.28 a barrel, having fallen 0.3% the previous session.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 4 cents, or 0.07%, to $59.96 a barrel by 05:52 GMT while Brent crude was down 10 cents, or 0.16%, to $63.18 a barrel.
Brent crude was down 60 cents, or 0.9%, at $63.93 a barrel by 01:36 GMT while US oil was off by 68 cents, or 1.1%, at $60.74 a barrel.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for May delivery fell 62 cents, or 1%, to $60.94 a barrel at 01:49 GMT while Brent crude futures for May dropped by 68 cents, or 1.1% to $63.94, erasing a 9 cent gain in the previous session.
Russia edged closer to default on Sunday amid little sign that investors holding its international bonds had received payment, heralding what would be the nation’s first default in decades.
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Sri Lanka hiked fuel prices on Sunday, creating further pain for ordinary people as officials from the United States arrived for talks aimed at alleviating the island’s dire economic crisis.