Oil Prices Rally Amid Middle East Tensions

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Oil prices rallied on Monday amid optimism about the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines, hopes for a U.S. stimulus bill and heightened tensions in the Middle East.

Brent crude for April settlement climbed 1.3 percent to $63.25 a barrel, after having hit a session high of $63.76, the highest since January 22, 2020.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 1.8 percent at $60.55 per barrel, after having touched the highest since Jan. 8 last year of $60.95 earlier in the session.

U.S. President Joe Biden will speak at a virtual meeting of the world’s major economies on Friday to discuss the coronavirus pandemic and global vaccination distribution, according to the White House.

He will emphasize the need for global coordination on vaccine production, distribution and supplies.

Meanwhile, with former President Donald Trump winning his second Senate impeachment trial, U.S. lawmakers are likely to concentrate on pushing through President Joe Biden’s vast rescue package.

The $1.9 trillion proposal could be watered down but the final figure could be closer to the president’s plan, reports suggest.

Elsewhere, the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said late on Sunday it intercepted and destroyed an explosive-laden drone fired by the Iran-aligned Houthi group toward the kingdom, raising fears of fresh Middle East tensions.

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