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Oil Prices Hit $50 on COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

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Oil prices touched their highest level since March on Thursday, as hopes of swifter-than-thought vaccine rollout fueled bullish expectations of strengthening oil demand early next year.

As at Thursday afternoon, brent crude, the international benchmark, sold at $50.55 per barrel, for the first time since the first days in March, when Saudi Arabia and Russia broke up the previous OPEC+ pact, contributing to massive slides in oil prices exacerbated by the demand crash in the lockdowns in the spring.

WTI Crude price also hit its highest level since the price crash, and traded at $47.16 per barrel, up 3.66 percent.

This is good news for Nigeria as crude oil accounts for half of the government’s income and about 90 percent of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings.

The nation’s economy has continued to battle foreign exchange scarcity following plummeting crude oil prices in the international market caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rally in prices were boosted by Canada approving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, joining the United Kingdom (UK). Canada’s health authorities approved the vaccine on Wednesday, with the first doses of the vaccine expected by the end of this year.

The UK has already started vaccinating vulnerable people and essential personnel, with the first person receiving the vaccine on Tuesday.

Credit: Bloomberg

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