Oil prices increased on Tuesday on optimism that the newly-developed coronavirus vaccines will soon be made available and on hopes of a possible OPEC+ production cut extension.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $44.16 per barrel at 0647GMT for a 3.23% increase after closing Monday at $42.78 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $41.58 per barrel at the same time, up 0.58% after ending the previous session at $41.34 a barrel.
Oil prices increased after positive developments in vaccine studies. These developments come at a time when the number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise and has forced many countries to impose lockdowns and take strict measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
US biotech firm Moderna announced Monday that its coronavirus vaccine candidate is 94.5% effective. The move came one week after another US drugmaker Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech announced their coronavirus vaccine candidate was more than 90% effective.
-Investors eye OPEC+ output cut decision
The 46th Meeting of the OPEC's Joint Technical Committee of Declaration of Cooperation participating countries on Monday did not produce the expected decision for a further production cut. However, investors are now waiting for the outcome of Tuesday's Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee that closely monitors how much crude oil each OPEC+ member produces.
Signals of a rapid recovery in oil demand from the world's second-largest oil user, China, were seen when crude oil production rose to its highest level in October to support an upward trend in oil prices.
By Sibel Morrow