The gains were however capped by worries about the coronavirus and by rising supplies of the energy resource.
Brent crude futures rose 42 cents, or 0.6%, to $64.09 a barrel at 5:21 WAT, after gaining 39 cents on Tuesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures added 40 cents, or 0.7%, to $60.58 a barrel, following Tuesday’s rise of 48 cents.
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Recent price gains have been borne by signs of a strong economic recovery in China and the United States. However, concerns over delayed vaccine rollouts coupled with the surging cases of COVID-19 in Brazil and India have capped gains.
“Continuing setbacks on vaccine rollouts and global cases nearing January’s peak is likely to hold a firm cap on crude’s ascent in the short term. At the same time, persistent optimism over a U.S. recovery and the world being on the cusp of emerging out of the COVID crisis is holding a floor,” said Vandana Hari, energy analyst at Vanda Insights.
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Market gains are also being capped on concerns about increased oil production in the United States and rising supply from Iran at a time when OPEC and its allies are set to bring on more supply from May.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) raised its forecast on Tuesday for world oil demand growth this year, now expecting demand to rise by 5.95 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2021, up by 70,000 bpd from last month's forecast. The body stated that it is counting on the pandemic to subside and travel curbs to be eased.