Brent hits highest since March

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    SINGAPORE- Brent crude prices hit their highest levels since March as news of a third promising coronavirus vaccine candidate spurred hopes of a quicker recovery in oil demand, while US President-elect Joe Biden received the go-ahead to begin his leadership transition.

    Brent crude futures rose 43 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $46.49 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude added 45 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $43.51 a barrel.

    Brent rose to a session high of $46.56 earlier on Tuesday, the highest level traded since early March before Saudi Arabia initiated a price war with Russia, which sent oil prices crashing. Both oil benchmarks settled up about 2 percent on Monday after gaining about 5 percent last week.

    “Progress on developing and distributing a vaccine de-risks the path back to normal for oil markets,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at financial services firm Axi.