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Oil held gains close to $66 a barrel in Asian trading

Oil held gains close to $66 a barrel in early Asian trading amid signs of a return in fuel consumption acceleration and after the U.S. passed a massive pandemic relief program that boosted markets in general.

Futures in New York were steady after gaining 2.5% on Thursday, the most in almost a week. Furthermore, vehicle miles driven on American highways rose 10% last week from the previous seven days. U.K. road use has also increased. The passing of the $1.9 trillion stimulus deal will see aid flowing to millions of individuals, businesses, and local governments this weekend.

Crude oil futures boosted as participants extended their long positions as seen by the open interest. Crude oil surged on hopes of demand recovery as vaccine rollout gathers pace and U.S. Congress approved coronavirus relief package.

The U.S. crude oil inventories surged by 13.8 million barrels per day

The commodity market was closed in the first half of the session on account of the Mahashivratri holiday. U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 13.8 million barrels per day.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration announced to 498.4 million barrels for the week ended March 5.

Meanwhile, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries sounded a note of caution in the demand outlook on March 11, trimming its estimates for the amount of crude it will need to pump over the following two quarters.

Oil has whipsawed this week and briefly boosted to the highest level unseen since October 2018 on Monday following an attack on a key Saudi Arabian facility. However, it has to be mentioned that prices have since returned and are poised for a modest weekly decline. The market continues to tighten due to output cuts from OPEC+ members. The rollout of coronavirus vaccines is spurring optimism over the demand outlook.

The prompt time spread for Brent was 63 cents a barrel on Thursday compared with 54 cents a week earlier.

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