Oil prices surge amid positive sentiment

NEW YORK, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices moved noticeably higher on Tuesday, fueled by positive expectations.

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for January delivery gained 1.85 U.S. dollars, or 4.3 percent, to settle at 44.91 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for January delivery increased 1.8 dollars, or 3.9 percent, to close at 47.86 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

Both benchmarks reached their highest levels since early March.

"Optimists appear to be gaining the upper hand," as vaccine news was making the market increasingly confident that the economy would gradually normalize, "and with it oil demand, despite current data offering no reason for optimism," Eugen Weinberg, energy analyst at Commerzbank Research, said in a note Tuesday.

"On the supply side it is above all the expectation of agreement at next week's meeting of OPEC and its allies (OPEC+) that is supporting prices," he added.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies are expected to meet on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

On Monday, the WTI and Brent rose 1.5 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.

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