Oil rises on hopes United States pandemic stimulus will spur fuel demand

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Also, the West Texas Intermediate futures gained 0.73% to trade at $48.47.

Brent crude was up 68 cents, or 1.3%, at $51.97 a barrel at 1020 GMT, after trading as high as $52.02, reversing an earlier decline.

"Markets feel very rangy into the New Year but should find support today from broader risk markets as stocks are soaring on the prospects of larger stimulus checks", aid Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi, a broker.

Oil steadied - after posting its first weekly loss since October - as pessimism over a new strain of Covid-19 that's threatening more travel restrictions was balanced by the passage of a USA stimulus bill into law.

Oil fell - after posting its first weekly loss since October - as a new Covid-19 strain raised the risk of more lockdown measures and as President Donald Trump declined to sign a long-awaited USA stimulus bill.

The Republican-controlled Senate will still need to vote on the measure. "That said, the signing of the USA stimulus bill, with the possibility of an increased size, should put a floor under oil prices in a shortened week", Halley said. US crude oil stockpiles are expected to have declined last week, while refined products inventories likely rose, a preliminary Reuters poll ahead of this week's data showed on Monday.

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We have a duty to spread opportunity more equally across the UK. "We will be able to decide how and where to stimulate new jobs". She struck a subdued tone when she used a line from Romeo and Juliet to express her mood, saying "parting is such sweet sorrow".

The Energy Information Administration data follows the American Petroleum Institute's report of a 2.7-million-barrel gain in US crude oil supply the day before.

Concerns over coronavirus lockdowns are capping gains, making them major headwinds for buyers.

But, the emergence of a new variant of the virus, first seen in Britain and now detected in other countries, has led to movement restrictions being reimposed, hitting near-term demand and weighing on prices. Over the longer term, Iranian plans to hike oil output next year may undermine the alliance's efforts to raise production while avoiding flooding the market.

'To restore our output, that we've reduced a lot, the price range of US$45 to US$55 a barrel is the most optimal, ' said Russia's deputy prime minister Alexander Novak.

Money managers raised their net long U.S. crude futures and options positions in the week to December 21, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Monday.

Futures in NY rose above $48 a barrel, though liquidity was thin in the period between Christmas and New Year.

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