Oil prices are rising on Wednesday after the publication of American Petroleum Institute’s data (API) on a significant decline in US stocks last week, Interfax reports.
According to API, the state’s oil stocks have declined by 4.79 million barrels – the highest rate since October.
The cost of February futures for Brent on the London ICE Futures exchange on Wednesday is $51.25 per barrel, which is $0.16 (0.31%) higher than the price at the previous session's close. As a result of trading on Tuesday, these contracts rose by $0.23 (0.5%) up to $51.09 per barrel.
The price of February futures for WTI in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) is $48.23 per barrel, which is $0.23 (0.48%) higher than the previous trading. On Tuesday, futures rose in price by $0.38 (0.8%) up to $48 per barrel.
Since early December, oil prices went up by almost 6% due to investor optimism over coronavirus vaccines onset. However, the introduction of vaccines will take some time, while the incidence of COVID-19 worldwide remains high, limiting the oil demand.
Meanwhile, hopes for large direct payments to Americans as part of a new package of economic support measures adopted in the United States have not been justified yet. The leader of the Republican majority Senator Mitch McConnell blocked the vote on a draft law adopted by the House of Representatives the day before, providing for an increase in direct payments to Americans to $2 thousand from the previously planned $600.
"Large direct payments to the US could revive the oil demand," said Mizuho Securities analyst Bob Yeager. “Without additional incentives, demand will slow down. This is what is holding back oil prices at the moment.”
Earlier, Saudi Arabia announced the discovery of four new oil and gas fields.