Oil’s 7-Week Hurrah Ends With New Covid Strain By Investing.com

© Reuters.

By Barani Krishnan

Investing.com – Crude prices rose Thursday but were unable to extend their seven-week rally as a new strain of the coronavirus discovered in Britain and feared to be spreading brought an unceremonious end to oil’s longest winning streak since April 2019.

Wildly surging U.S. case counts of the original Covid-19 virus also dampened the enthusiasm of oil bulls despite supportive inventory data for last week released by the government on Wednesday.

New York-traded , the key indicator for U.S. crude, settled up $1.10, or 2.3%, at $48.12 per barrel. For the week, however, it fell 2%.

London-traded , the global benchmark for crude, was up 10 cents, or 0.2%, at $51.34 by 1:17 PM ET (18:37 GMT). For the week, it slid 2.2%

The week was shortened by Friday’s Christmas holiday.

Prior to that, oil prices had rallied seven weeks in a row on bets that people across the world might soon be able to travel freely as millions of doses of coronavirus vaccines were prepared for delivery after approval by relevant health authorities.

The rally was halted by this week’s news that countries across Europe and beyond had barred U.K. travelers to prevent the spread of a new Covid-19 strain discovered in Britain. U.K. health authorities said the new variant was 70% more transmissible.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also warned earlier this week that the new strain of the virus was probably already in America, only undetected.

Oil’s weekly loss came despite the U.S. Energy Information Administration reporting on Wednesday largely positive inventory numbers for , and during the week ended Dec. 18.


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