Oil rose to hit $52 a barrel on Monday as US President Donald Trump’s signing of a coronavirus aid package and the start of a European vaccination campaign outweighed concern about weak near-term demand.
Europe, meanwhile, launched a mass vaccination drive on Sunday.
Brent crude was up 45 cents, or 0.9 percent, at $51.74 a barrel, after trading as high as $52.02 and reversing an earlier decline. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude added 59 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $48.82.
“The signing of the US stimulus bill, with the possibility of an increased size, should put a floor under oil prices in a shortened week,” said Jeffrey Halley, analyst at broker OANDA.
Oil has recovered from historic lows hit this year as the emerging pandemic hammered demand. Brent reached $52.48 on Dec. 18, its highest since March.
But, the emergence of a new variant of the virus has led to movement restrictions being reimposed, hitting near-term demand and weighing on prices.
Oil remains vulnerable to any further setbacks in efforts to control the virus, said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi, in a note.
Also coming into focus will be a Jan. 4 meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, a group known as OPEC+. The group is tapering record oil output cuts made this year to support the market.
OPEC+ is set to boost output by 500,000 barrels per day in January.