* Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine is 95% effective
* Saudi Arabia urges OPEC+ to be flexible on output
* U.S. crude stocks rise, distillate inventories plunge -EIA (Updates prices)
By Devika Krishna Kumar
NEW YORK, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Oil prices firmed by about 2% on Wednesday on hopes OPEC and its allies will delay a planned increase in oil output and after Pfizer said its COVID-19 vaccine was more effective than previously reported.
The market was also supported by a smaller-than-expected increase in U.S. crude stockpiles last week.
Both contracts jumped by about $1 after Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE ) PFE.N said that final results from late-stage trial of its vaccine showed it was 95% effective. Last week it had put the efficacy at more than 90%. Inc MRNA.O on Monday said that preliminary data for its vaccine also showed it was almost 95% effective.
"Oil prices today are modestly rising on hopes that OPEC+ will decide to postpone its planned production increase in January and on the latest vaccine euphoria," said Rystad Energy's head of oil markets, Bjornar Tonhaugen.
To tackle weaker energy demand amid a second wave of the pandemic, Saudi Arabia called on fellow members of the OPEC+ group to be flexible to meet market needs and to be ready to adjust their agreement on output cuts. comprising the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers, met on Tuesday but made no formal recommendation. The group is due to discuss policy at a full ministerial meeting to be held on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
Members of OPEC+ are leaning towards delaying the current plan to boost output in January by 2 million barrels per day (bpd), sources have said. They are considering a possible delay of three or six months. the United States, crude inventories USOILC=ECI rose 768,000 barrels last week, compared with analyst expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.7 million-barrel rise. Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil , fell by 5.2 million barrels, far exceeding expectations. EIA/S
"There's concern about gasoline demand, but overall inventories, including diesel stocks, fell, giving credence to the efforts of OPEC+ and reduced overall crude production," said Tony Headrick, energy markets analyst at CHS Hedging.
Add Chart to Comment
We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:
- Enrich the conversation
- Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
- Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
- Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
- NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
- Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
- Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
- Only English comments will be allowed.
Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.