Oil prices are continuing yesterday’s rally, with all eyes looking towards the Inauguration Ceremony in Washington DC. Traders continue hoping for stimulus to lift economic prospects. Treasury Secretary Nominee Janet Yellen, former chair of the Federal Reserve, stated yesterday that Congress should “act big” in its legislation. Yellen argued that low interest rates would keep the costs of the additional debt low, adding that the economic benefits would outweigh the cost.
Today is the one-year anniversary of the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the US, and the country has suffered over 400,000 deaths since then. New variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus have been discovered, first in Britain and now in other areas. A new strain discovered in Denmark is growing in California, and some scientists have questioned how vaccines will work on new viral variants. Traders must at least consider a worst-case scenario, however low the probability, in which a new, more transmissible strain spreads without being checked by a vaccine. Such a scenario would entail many new lockdowns globally, slamming a lid on recent recovery efforts.
Today, markets seem less concerned about diseases and more focused on stimulus legislation. Crude oil is trading at $53.29, up 31 cents from Tuesday’s closing price.
Fuel prices are also seeing moderate gains today. Diesel is trading at $1.6043, up 0.6 cents. Gasoline prices are $1.5513, leading the market with 1.3-cent gains.