Oil prices up anew

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    Oil prices are up for the second consecutive week starting today as hopes for a vaccine against the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) fuels optimism globally.

    According to the Department of Energy, the average price per liter of gasoline (RON95) in Metro Manila is now at P49.02, diesel at P34.61 and kerosene at P37.91.

    Shell and Seaoil adjusted per liter prices upward by P0.50 for diesel and P0.30 for kerosene. No price movements were made on gasoline products.

    As of November 17, year-to-date adjustments on fuel prices summed up to a net decrease of P4.62 per liter for gasoline, P9.36 per liter for diesel and P12.59 per liter for kerosene.

    Reuters reported that as of Friday last week, Brent crude futures rose 76 cents or 1.7 percent to settle at $44.96 a barrel while US West Texas Intermediate January crude contract gained 52 cents, or 1.2 percent to end at $42.42 a barrel.

    Pronouncements that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries alongwith Russia and other producers will keep crude output in check and delay a planned production increase also buoyed the market.

    The market also got a push from reports of a possible stimulus deal in the US after its Senate Republican majority leader agreed to resume discussions on providing more COVID-19 relief as cases surge across the country.

    However, the increase in global oil prices was tempered by concerns Libya has raised production to pre-blockade levels of 1.25 million barrels-per-day. –J. Macapagal