Global oil prices rose again today as a third straight Monday brought with it positive news concerning a vaccine for the coronavirus disease.
Prices climbed a further two per cent after Astrazeneca and Oxford University said that their vaccine was up to 90 per cent effective.
The announcement followed similar statements in recent weeks from the likes of Pfizer and Moderna.
As a result of the hike, worldwide standard Brent crude is now trading at $45.81, its highest levels since the beginning of March.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate enjoyed a slightly smaller increase, but still picked up one per cent to trade at $42.86.
Prices were helped even higher by news from the US, where officials said that inoculations could start from mid-December.
Rystad Energy head of oil markets Bjornar Tonhaugen said: “The thought of starting a vaccination campaign already within 2020 revitalised trader hopes that oil demand could take a little less time to recover.
“As oil demand is currently expected to take a hit from the second global round of lockdowns, the early vaccine news are offer some light in the tunnel.”
Sentiment was also bolstered by expectations that the OPEC, Russia and other producers, a group known as OPEC+, would extend a deal to restrain output.
On the supply side, OPEC+, which meets at the end of the week, will look at options to extend its deal on output cuts by at least three months from January.