Oil prices edge lower after vaccine-fueled rally

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Oil futures traded lower Tuesday, pulling back a day after progress toward a COVID-19 vaccine fueled sharp gains for crude.

West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery

fell 14 cents, or 0.3%, to $41.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. January Brent crude
the global benchmark, was off 13 cents, or 0.3%, at $43.69 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

WTI jumped 3% and Brent rose more than 2% on Monday after Moderna Inc.

announced its COVID-19 vaccine candidate was more than 94% effective in preventing infections. That came a week after Pfizer Inc.

and BioNTech SE

said their vaccine candidate was highly effective.

Meanwhile, traders remain focused on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, a group known as OPEC+. The alliance’s Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, which is scheduled to meet virtually on Tuesday, is likely to recommend delaying a relaxation of output curbs set to take effect on Jan. 1 by three to six months, said analysts at UniCredit, in a note. A final decision would come at an OPEC+ meeting at the end of the month.

A delay along those lines should be enough to prevent crude inventories “from rising sharply in the first half of 2021, which is traditionally a period of weaker demand,” said Eugen Weinberg, commodity analyst at Commerzbank, in a note.

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