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Oil prices rebound to 8-month high on vaccine hopes

Global oil prices hit the highest leve since March on Tuesday, rising above $47 per barrel (pb) as hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine rollout within weeks brightened the outlook for fuel consumption.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, gained more than 3 percent to climb $47.82 pb.

The last time WTI Crude traded at $45 per barrel was eight months ago, in early March this year, just before Saudi Arabia and Russia disagreed on how to manage oil supply in the pandemic and started a brief oil price war that contributed to the price collapse together with the demand destruction.

The surge in crude prices has accompanied a slew of positive updates from pharmaceutical companies on their progress toward a COVID-19 vaccine.

On Monday, the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca said that interim trial data from their Phase III trials show their candidate vaccine is effective at preventing COVID-19 and offers a high level of protection.

Since the first announcement from Pfizer, the energy sector has been one of the biggest winners on the market, having been the worst hit when demand initially crashed in the pandemic.

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