Oil above 56 on U.S. Stimulus Hopes ahead of Inauguration

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Oil rose above 56 a barrel on Wednesday, supported by expectations the new U.S. administration will deliver massive stimulus spending that would lift demand, as well as by OPEC curbs and forecasts of a drop in U.S. crude inventories.

U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen on Tuesday urged lawmakers to act big on pandemic relief spending. A fall in the dollar after the comments helped oil to rally, analysts said.

This provided a good backdrop for oil and other risk assets, said Stephen Brennock of broker PVM. While the nearterm demand environment continues to be gripped by weakness and uncertainty, the future is brightening.

Brent crude was up 46 cents, or 0.8, to 56.36 at 1247 GMT, after a 2.1 gain on Tuesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate WTI crude climbed 61 cents, or 1.2, to 53.59.

Presidentelect Joe Bidens inauguration is on Wednesday.

Increased fiscal support means more growth and higher U.S. oil demand, said Eugen Weinberg of Commerzbank. What is more, the oil market is likely to remain in supply deficit both in the first quarter and in the year as a whole.

A record output cut by OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC, in 2020 helped lift prices from historic lows.

This month Brent hit an 11month high of 57.42, helped by Saudi Arabia pledging to make additional, voluntarily cuts and most OPEC members agreeing to keep output steady in February.

Oil drew more support from expectations of lower U.S. crude inventories. Analysts estimate crude stocks fell by…

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