Crude oil prices slightly changed Friday morning amid the news that the Republican leaders in the US Senate announced their readiness to return to negotiations on the painful and temporarily suspended issue of new stimulus measures for the country's economy.
The price of futures contracts for Brent crude oil for delivery in January on the trading floor in London added 0.05% or $0.02, which sent it to $44.22 per barrel. Thursday's trading ended with a contraction of 0.3% or $0.14, and the price consolidated at $44.2 per barrel.
The price of futures contracts for WTI light crude oil for delivery in December on the electronic trading platform in New York maintained the level that was recorded at the close of Thursday's trading session at around $41.74 per barrel. But a day earlier, there was a reduction in its value by 0.2% or $0.08.
Recall that the validity of December futures contracts for WTI crude oil ends on Friday at the closing of the trading session. WTI futures contracts for January delivery moves down by 0.05% or $0.02 by morning leaving the current price at $41.88 per barrel. Thursday's trading session ended on a negative note with a drop of 0.3% or $0.11, and the final price stopped at around $41.9 per barrel.
On Thursday, the press received news that Mitch McConnell, who represents the democratic minority in the Senate, gave the go signal to start negotiations again on the issue of introducing another portion of financial incentives in the US. Earlier, no final decision was made on this issue, because at first the negotiation process reached an impasse, and then it was postponed due to the presidential elections in the country. Meanwhile, the growth of coronavirus infection in America continues at a rapid pace, which forces the government to think about tough restrictive measures that will not have favorable consequences for the economy. Consequently, the issue of incentives is particularly crucial at present.
On the same day, Johns Hopkins University registered a record number of new cases of coronavirus in the US. The said increase amounted to 185,760, which was not observed even in the first heavy wave. Against this background, local authorities were quick to announce the introduction of restrictive measures. In particular, the Governor of California imposed a curfew on most of the district until almost the end of December this year.
In addition, quarantine measures were tightened across the US this week, as new anti-records for the number of infections and deaths are being broken almost every day. And ahead of the country's traditional holiday travel season, which can further aggravate the already worsened situation.
However, preliminary surveys already show that the total number of Americans who still intend to visit their relatives on the occasion of thanksgiving has decreased by about 45% compared to the number recorded last year. This is despite the fact that the cost of gasoline in the state has fallen to the minimum for this time of year, which was last recorded four years ago.
We are also encouraged by the news that the vaccine, which is a joint development of Pfizer and BioNTech, can now be submitted for approval to the state authorities. However, in the light of recent trends, market participants are not in a hurry to celebrate this.