Oil prices were little changed on Tuesday as worries about tighter lockdowns overshadowed relief from the roll-out of coronavirus vaccines in Europe, Canada and the United States.
Benchmark Brent crude edged down 0.1 percent to $50.25 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were little changed at $46.98.
Germany and the Netherlands announced tighter restrictions over Christmas in a bid to curb a sharp rise in infections.
London will move into England’s highest tier of Covid-19 restrictions on Wednesday, with additional curbs on restaurants and socializing due to increased infection rates that may be partly linked to a new variant of the coronavirus.
The number of hospitalized coronavirus patients in France increased for the third day in a row, just as the country planned to relax its lockdown.
OPEC on Monday pared its forecast for the oil demand recovery in 202l by 350,000 barrels per day, but said a rapid roll-out of vaccines in major economies “provides potential upside for next year’s growth forecast”.
The International Energy Agency said in a report today that it expects global oil demand to recover more slowly than expected next year, even with the rollout of a Covid-19 vaccine.