In the commodity market, oil prices are somewhat bearish after opening higher. The concerns over the new COVID strain offset the optimism surrounding the UK approval of AstraZeneca’s vaccine. Both WTI and Brent have lost 0.10% so far. Initially, prices were boosted by data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), which showed a draw in crude inventories of over 6 million barrels last week. Investors expected a draw of over 2.5 million barrels. Previously, the American Petroleum Institute reported a draw of almost 4.8 million barrels. 2020 has been a tumultuous year for crude prices, which have declined about 20% since the beginning of the year. At one point, WTI futures turned negative for the first time ever, as demand tumbled. Nevertheless, unprecedented stimulus from governments worldwide helped crude prices recover part of the losses.
Gold futures have declined slightly, but are set to conclude the best year in a decade, as investors have looked for safe havens amid the COVID crisis. The metal is down 0.04% to $1,892.
In FX, the US dollar cannot find its bottom as the American currency is trading at the lowest level since April 2018. The USD Index fell 0.07% to 89.582. Still, EUR/USD is down 0.02% to 1.2292.
The British pound has gained about 0.10% against both majors after the UK approved AstraZeneca’s vaccine. Also, the British parliament approved Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade deal with the EU. Both sides want to start a new chapter in their relationship.