Oil prices extend gains as demand outlook improves

An oil well pump jack is seen at an oil field supply yard near Denver, Colorado, U.S., February 2, 2015. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices rose on Monday, supported by an improved outlook for fuel demand as increased coronavirus vaccinations help lift travel curbs.

Brent crude was up 48 cents at $73.17 a barrel by 0455 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) gained 44 cents to stand at $71.35 per barrel.

Reuters reported that motor vehicle traffic is returning to pre-pandemic levels in North America and much of Europe, and more planes are in the air as anti-coronavirus lockdowns and other restrictions are being eased.

“In the short term the oil market may be volatile with frequent pull-backs as crude prices are beginning to struggle as demand in Europe and India faces headwinds,” said senior manager commodities at Philip Futures in Singapore, according to Reuters.

“The major trend is, however, still intact and deep pullbacks would provide opportunities for buying the dips,” he added.

Goldman Sachs said last week it expects Brent to rise to $80 per barrel this summer as the rollout of inoculations boosts economic activity around the world.

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