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Crude oil prices climbed higher on Wednesday, extending gains to a third straight session, amid vaccine rollouts and on optimism about a fiscal stimulus in the U.S.

Data showing a drop in crude inventories in the U.S. last week contributed as well to oil’s rise.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended up $0.20 or about 0.4% at $47.82 a barrel.

Brent crude futures were up $0.29 or 0.55% at $51.05 a barrel a little while ago.

Data released by Energy Information Administration (EIA) this morning showed crude inventories in the U.S. declined by 3.1 million barrels last week, as against expectations for a 1.937 million-barrel drawdown.

Gasoline stockpiles increased by 1 million barrels last week, less than an expected increase of 1.6 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles rose by 167,000 barrels, sharply down from an expected jump of 886,000 barrels.

A report released by the American Petroleum Institute (API) late on Tuesday showed crude inventories in the U.S. increased by 1.973 million barrels in the week ended December 11, against expectations for a draw of 1.9 million barrels.

Hospitals across the United States are ramping up Covid-19 vaccinations as a second vaccine developed by Moderna appears poised to receive emergency-use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed Tuesday that Congress would not adjourn for the year until the $748 billion relief deal is clinched, in a sign that lawmakers will send a relief bill to President Donald Trump’s desk by the end of the year.


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