Crude oil prices moved higher on Monday, extending gains from previous week, as rising optimism about potential Covid-19 vaccine raised hopes that energy demand will pick up soon.
Traders also bet on hopes that OPEC and other major oil producers will consider extending the curb on crude production by another few months.
OPEC meets on November 30 and December 1 and it appears traders have already factored in a three-month delay of production increases.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended up $0.64 or about 1.5% at $43.06 a barrel.
Brent crude futures were gaining about $0.90 or nearly 2% at $45.87 a barrel.
Last week, both WTI and Brent futures added about 5% on positive news about the efficacy of coronavirus vaccines and hopes that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers will keep crude output in check.
After recent encouraging updates on the vaccine front, the Oxford University and British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca announced today that their vaccine for the novel coronavirus could be around 90% effective under one dosing regimen.
"Today marks an important milestone in our fight against the pandemic. This vaccine's efficacy and safety confirm that it will be highly effective against Covid-19 and will have an immediate impact on this public health emergency," AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the FDA's outside advisers are slated to meet on Dec. 10 to review Pfizer's emergency-use application for its vaccine.