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Tishwash: Oil prices fall after jump in U.S. inventories

Oil prices fell on Wednesday, feeding an unexpected jump in U.S. oil inventories and concerns about slow demand, but positive news about Coved-19 vaccines boosted investor optimism about a recovery in fuel demand, limiting losses.

Brent crude futures fell 17 cents, or 0.35%, to $48.67 a barrel by 0522 GMT, after rising 5 cents the previous day. West Texas Intermediate futures fell 15 cents, or 0.33%, to $45.45 after losing 16 cents on Tuesday.

The American Petroleum Institute (IPC) said Tuesday that U.S. crude oil, gasoline and distillation inventories rose sharply last week, with crude inventories jumping by 1.14 million barrels, and weekly official oil data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is scheduled for Wednesday.

Britain began mass vaccinations on Tuesday in a global campaign that is one of the biggest logistical challenges in peacetime history.

News of the vaccine has helped allay fears of a sharp rise in coronavirus infections worldwide that have led to a series of renewed closures, including crackdowns in California, Germany and South Korea.

Hedge fund managers were major buyers of petroleum futures and options last week for the fourth week in a row, in a sign of increased confidence that CORONA vaccines will lead to a recovery in oil consumption next year.  link