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Oil prices rising towards third weekly gain

by Bunkerist
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Oil prices changed little on Friday and are on their way up for the third consecutive week. But demand concerns from rising coronavirus cases and renewed lockdowns in several countries are limiting the gains.

Hopes that OPEC and its allies will keep production under control and news of an effective COVID-19 vaccine have strengthened oil markets this week.

Brent crude LCOc1 futures were up 5 cents, or 0.1% to $44.25 a barrel at 0505 GMT.

The more active West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude contract CLc2 remained unchanged at $41.90 a barrel. The WTI contract for November CLc1, which expires on Friday, was also flat at $41.74 per barrel.

Both indicators are up over 3% so far this week, making it the weakest weekly gain in the past three weeks.

All eyes will be on the OPEC + ministerial meeting to discuss supply policy later this month and there will be no official decision before.

Demand from Asia is strong, although the persistent increase in COVID-19 cases continues to raise doubts about a demand recovery. Also, Brent spreads in 2021 narrowed significantly, as markets were hopeful that OPEC and its allies could extend production cuts.

Oil prices are also backed by signs of movement towards a stimulus deal in Washington.

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