Oil prices climbed for a fourth straight session on Wednesday, shrugging off a report showing US crude inventories rose more than expected and extending a rally driven by hopes that a COVID-19 vaccine will boost fuel demand.
US West Texas Intermediate crude gained 53 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $45.44, after rising more than 4 percent on Tuesday.
“Crude oil prices are trading at their highest levels since early March, supported by positive market sentiment as a result of vaccine news and strong oil demand in Asia,” said UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo.
AstraZeneca said on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine could be up to 90 percent effective, providing another weapon in the fight to control the pandemic.
A weaker dollar also supported crude prices as a lower greenback makes oil less expensive for buyers holding other currencies.
“The recent depreciation of the US dollar has helped temper the impact of surging oil prices for some of the world’s largest consumers of energy,” said Stephen Brennock of broker PVM.