Oil prices rose on Thursday, with the effect of late purchases in the low volume session on the last trading day of the week before the Christmas holiday.
The market built gains overnight as Britain and the European Union reached a post-Brexit trade deal.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 settled up 11 cents to $48.23 a barrel, while Brent crude futures settled 9 cents higher at $51.29. Volumes were light on the last trading day before the Christmas holiday.
For the week, U.S. crude fell 1.6% while Brent lost 2%.
Markets have recovered sharply since the end of October, with vaccines being approved in numerous countries.
Infections continue to rise around the world, and this will continue to outshine investors for several months. While the Brexit deal is supportive, the impact of COVID is a major dominant factor in the oil market. The market is waiting for broader distribution of vaccines for the public to start free traveling again.
The new coronavirus strains that seem to spread the disease faster have affected the UK, Nigeria and other countries.
At least four drug manufacturers expect COVID-19 vaccines to be effective against the new fast-spreading variant of the virus in Britain, with tests expected to be confirmed within a few weeks.
Britain is avoiding a chaotic seperation from one of the world’s largest trading blocks by finalizing the Brexit deal. A chaotic divergence is very likely to cause various fluctuations in the financial markets and requires investors to be more cautious.