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Oil prices rise again after largest drop in months

Credit: Belga

Oil prices were back on the rise on Friday after having plummeted due to fears about demand and stock levels.

Around 11:15 AM GMT (12:15 PM Belgian time), Brent North Sea crude for May delivery was worth $63.53 (€53,47) a barrel in London, up 0.4% on Thursday’s close, though a far cry from the $70 (€58.91) a barrel reached at the start of the week.

In New York, US WTI for April delivery was up 0.53% at $60.32 (€50,76), down from more than $65 on Wednesday.

The day before, the oil market recorded its biggest drop since September, with both benchmark contracts tumbling by around 7%.

Brent and WTI even lost more than 9% during the session, marking their fifth consecutive session of decline.

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This was due to bad news for crude: US crude stocks were at their highest since early December, at 500.8 million barrels, a gloomy outlook from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which estimates that it will take two years for world oil demand to return to pre-crisis levels, and above all a halt to the AstraZeneca vaccine in Europe after reports of possible side effects.

However, a number of those countries that had halted AstraZeneca vaccinations announced they would resume, following the European Medicines Agency (EMA) confirming that it deemed the vaccine “safe and effective” after further examination.

The Brussels Times