Oil prices extended gains on Friday, with both WTI crude and Brent oil nearing their highest level in a year, on hopes for a recovery in global crude demand as the COVID-19 pandemic is starting to ease globally. Meantime, Johnson & Johnson reportedly has asked US regulators Thursday to clear the world’s first single-dose virus vaccine also lifted sentiment. Traders also cheered reports that China saw the fewest new virus cases in over a month on Thursday ahead of the Lunar New Year festival.
Meanwhile, official selling prices for Saudi Aramco’s crude into Asia remained unchanged for March while those for buyers in Europe and the US were raised. The release follows the start of Saudi Arabia’s 1 million barrel per day output cut, which began on February 1st. At around 07:30 AM GMT, WTI crude rose 0.5% to $56.52 a barrel, heading for its biggest weekly gain since October. Meanwhile, Brent oil went up 0.4% to $59.09 a barrel and is on track to rise 6% this week.