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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.
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.
Both benchmark contracts hovered around unchanged levels after having jumped on Wednesday after the US Energy Information Administration reported a sharp, unexpected 10.6 million barrel drop in crude stockpiles last week.
Brent crude futures for January rose 22 cents, or 0.5%, to $43.97 a barrel by 07:33 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate crude for December climbed 6 cents, or 0.1%, to $41.49 a barrel.
January Brent crude futures, which will expire later on Monday, dropped 46 cents, or 1%, to $47.72 a barrel by 03:55 GMT. Brent contract was at $47.83 a barrel, down 42 cents. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures for January fell 48 cents, or 1.1%, to $45.05 a barrel.
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