On Friday, oil prices went down amid growing doubts among investors about the prospects for oil demand due to the continued increase in the COVID-19 cases worldwide, Interfax reports.
Traders are awaiting data on the US oil stocks, which will be released this week only on Friday since Monday was a day off in the country (Martin Luther King Day), and the inauguration of the country's new president, Joe Biden, took place on Wednesday.
The cost of March futures for Brent oil on the London ICE Futures exchange on Friday is $55.48 per barrel, which is $0.62 (1.11%) below the price at the end of the previous session. As a result of trading on January 21, these contracts rose in price by $0.02 (less than 0.1%) to $56.1 per barrel.
The price of March futures for WTI in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange is $52.47 per barrel, which is $0.66 (1.24%) below the level at the market's close on Thursday. The day before, futures fell in price by $0.18 (0.3%) to $53.13 per barrel.
Currently, the main driver of the oil prices increase is likely to be politics, "as traders try to understand what policy the administration of US President Joe Biden will pursue and what its consequences will be," said Manish Raj, Chief Financial Officer of Velandera Energy.
“Biden has already made it clear that he will adhere to a stricter environmental policy and tighten regulation of federal oil pipelines,” quotes an expert from MarketWatch. “Since all of this will mean increased costs for US producers, they can limit production, which will drive up oil prices.”
Earlier, Biden signed a decree to end the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.