Oil Futures Surge as Drug Companies Close in on Vaccine

Liubov Georges
By  Liubov Georges , DTN Energy Reporter

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- Crude and refined product futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange and the Brent contract on the Intercontinental Exchange rallied alongside equities in early trade Monday on news a vaccine for COVID-19 from Pfizer and BioNTech is nearing completion, with the drug companies said to seek emergency authorization in the third week of November.

"The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine's ability to prevent COVID-19," said Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO. "With today's news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis. We look forward to sharing additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks."

The two-dose vaccine is more than 90% effective said the pharmaceutical companies, which expect to produce globally up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.

The news comes as coronavirus infections in the United States topped 10 million over the weekend, with new cases rising by 120,000 per day as a "second wave" of infections accelerate in major economies around the world.

Oil futures were already advancing at a quick pace overnight as investors increased their appetite for riskier assets following Joe Biden's declared victory in the U.S. presidential election and renewed hopes for coronavirus relief legislature out of Washington as top lawmakers vowed to restart stimulus talks this week.

"Senate's number one job is to pass a stimulus bill before the end of the year," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over the weekend as the fate of Republican-controlled upper branch of the government still hangs in the balance until runoff elections in Georgia take place Jan. 5, 2021.

Top lawmakers seem to be more motivated to pass major relief legislature following the elections and before the final COVID-19 benefits expire on Dec. 31 that could push millions of American households into deeper financial hardship.

Liubov Georges can be reached at liubov.georges@dtn.com

Liubov Georges