Oil settles, marking the seventh straight benefit each week

(Reuters) – Oil set a nine-month high on Friday, delivering seven weeks of gains just as investors focused on COVID-19 vaccine spreads and this week’s decline in the U.S. dollar. SA.

PHOTO FILE: The sun can be seen behind a crude oil pump jacket in the Permian Lake in Loving County, Texas, USA, November 22, 2019. REUTERS / Angus Mordant / File Photo

Pfizer has applied for approval in Japan for its vaccine, which is used in the United Kingdom and the United States. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said U.S. approval for the Moderna bullet could come later Friday.

Brent crude set 76 cents, or 1.5%, to $ 52.26 a barrel after touching $ 52.48, the highest level since March. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude set 74 cents, or 1.5%, to $ 49.10 after reaching $ 49.28, the highest level since February.

The U.S. dollar rebounded slightly on Friday but remained near a 2-1 / 2-year low a day earlier. A weak dollar makes oil and other commodities cheaper for consumers using other currencies.

U.S. lawmakers worked late to meet a deadline to agree $ 900 billion in new relief for the pandemic – stricken economy, but may pass a third stop cost bill to keep the government from closing at midnight.

The dollar’s ​​weekly decline is “a major downward trend and is pushing the oil higher,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.

Oil was supported this week by U.S. weekly supply data showing that crude investments fell more than expected. [EIA/S]

Oil and gas rig counts, an early indicator of future results, rose eight to 346 a week to December 18, the highest level since May, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co said in its report that was closely followed on Friday. [nL1N2IY1ZB]

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC +, are backing the market by slowing the pace of a planned increase in supply next year.

OPEC + plans to add 500,000 barrels per day of supply in January and will meet in early January to decide on the next steps.

Addititonal Recitation with Alex Lawler, Sonali Paul and Shu Zhang; Edited by Mark Heinrich, Kirsten Donovan, Susan Fenton and David Gregorio