Oil Rally Stalls despite U.S. Stocks Surprise Fall


Oil dipped on Thursday in energy commodities, stalling a rally driven by a surprise fall in U.S. crude inventories. This added to bullishness over anticipations that developments on vaccines may end the pandemic and revive fuel demand.

Brent futures spent the Asian trading day higher, then went down 1 cent at $48.60 a barrel. It rose around 1.6% in the previous session.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was off by 4 cents at $45.67 a barrel. It previously reached a high of $46.09 and gained 1.8% on Wednesday.

This week, both benchmarks have risen about 8%. That came after AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) said on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine could be up to 90% effective. The news adds to the potential armory to end the worst pandemic in a century.

Bearish concerns remain. That’s despite a number of strong fundamentals rallying the markets, especially vaccine development supporting oil. This was according to Avtar Sandu, senior commodities manager at Phillip Futures.

Risk factors, he said, were lockdowns as the pandemic worsens and the rising number of rigs employed in the US. Moreover, with increased production from Libya, Sandu added.

Data showed U.S. oil stockpiles fell 754,000 barrels last week. Analysts had predicted a 127,000-barrel rise. Furthermore, stockpiles at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point for WTI, lost by 1.7 million barrels.

Gasoline demand for the week, however, fell by 128,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 8.13 million bpd. This is so far the lowest since June.Oil

Gold Rises on U.S. Job Numbers and COVID-19 Cases

Gold was up on Thursday morning in Asia’s precious metals. Investors looked to the safe-haven yellow metal on the back of weak U.S. jobs data and rising COVID-19 numbers. Moreover, as a hedge against a fall in stocks.

By 1:03 AM ET (5:03 AM GMT), gold futures edged up 0.19% at $1,809. 

Gold is back up, as U.S. data highlights the ongoing reality of the pandemic. It previously suffered from recent falls on the back of promising COVID-19 vaccine news that sent investors toward risk-positive assets. 

Earlier in the week, stocks reached record highs.

Americans Defy Pleas to Stay at Home on Thanksgiving Day

Meanwhile, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has urged people to forgo big family gatherings on Thanksgiving holiday.  He asked people to wear protective masks and maintain social distancing. Americans, however, are defying pleas from officials to stay at home on the occasion.

In the past two weeks, the United States has recorded 2.3 million new coronavirus infections.

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