On Friday, oil prices are declining amid persistently high incidence of COVID-19 worldwide and fears of delaying restrictive measures, Interfax reported.
Nevertheless, the oil market ends in positive territory for the seventh consecutive week thanks to hopes for the imminent adoption of a new stimulus package in the United States, which, according to experts, could support oil demand in the short term - before the massive introduction of coronavirus vaccines.
US lawmakers are trying to resolve remaining controversial issues regarding a new package of measures to support the economy, which will amount to almost $ 900 billion, Bloomberg reports.
According to agency sources, the package includes $ 600 payouts to individuals, an additional $300 a week to unemployment benefits, and assistance to small businesses and airlines.
The cost of February Brent oil futures on the London ICE Futures exchange on Friday is $51.27 per barrel, which is $0.23 (0.45%) below the price at the previous session's close. As a result of trading on Thursday, these contracts rose by $0.42 (0.8%) to $51.5 per barrel, the maximum since March 3.
The price of WTI crude oil futures for January in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) is $48.2 per barrel, which is $0.16 (0.33%) lower than the level of the previous trading. The day before, futures rose in price by $0.54 (1.1%) to $48.36 per barrel, which is the highest value since February 26.
“We have seen an almost non-stop rise in oil prices over the past few weeks as vaccine proliferation begins, oil inventories fall, demand in Asia remains strong, and a weakening dollar is supporting all commodity markets,” said Edward Moya, chief market analyst at Oanda.
In his opinion, if the US Congress can adopt an anti-crisis package this week, WTI may jump to $50 per barrel.
Earlier it was reported that the United States imposed sanctions against companies from the UAE and China.