Oil prices climbed over 1% on Wednesday, after an industry report showed U.S. crude inventories have fallen more than expected, while hopes of an effective COVID-19 vaccine continued to bolster sentiment. Brent crude LCOc1 futures were up 48 cents, or 1.1% to $44.09 a barrel at 0445 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures also rose 48 cents, or 1.2%, to $41.84 a barrel. Both benchmarks gained nearly 3% on Tuesday.
Crude stockpiles fell by 5.1 million barrels last week to about 482 million barrels, industry group data showed on Tuesday, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a reduction of 913,000 barrels. [API/S] “Defying analysts’ expectations again, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Tuesday a significant ‘draw’ in crude oil inventories,” said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at AXI. Oil prices also “continue to revel on the back of Pfizer’s vaccine announcement,” Innes said. Both Brent and U.S.
oil prices are up more than 10% this week since initial trials data showed the experimental COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Pfizer Inc PFE.N and Germany’s BioNTech 22UAy.DE was 90% effective.
Most Asian stocks advance; China tech retreats: Markets Wrap
Meanwhile, most Asian stocks pushed higher Wednesday after a rotation out of defensive technology names into shares more exposed to economic growth continued in the U.S. overnight.
Equities in Japan and Australia climbed more than 1%, but a technology selloff in China deepened following Beijing’s crackdown on the Internet industry. S&P 500 futures edged up after the benchmark pulled back from a two-month high Tuesday, when the Nasdaq 100 index slid almost 2%. European futures slipped.
Shares in companies including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. slumped after the Communist Party unveiled regulations to root out monopolistic practices in the technology industry.
The dollar edged lower and crude oil extended an advance. New Zealand’s currency rose to a 19-month high as traders pared expectations for the central bank to introduce negative rates after its latest policy statement. Investors will also be watching Alibaba’s annual Singles’ Day, the online shopping phenomenon that could provide clues on China’s economic recovery.
Enthusiasm over the prospects for a coronavirus vaccine boosted global equities and sent havens into a tailspin this week, though some analysts said the moves may have gone too far. The coronavirus shot still has several hurdles to clear and there are concern over U.S. fiscal stimulus, the transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden and a virus resurgence.