Oil edged lower from a two-month high after news of fresh coronavirus restrictions in New York reignited pessimism on the demand outlook, even as a vaccine appears to be getting closer.
Futures slipped 0.4% in New York after rising 0.9% on Wednesday. The market gave up some gains in early Asian trading after New York City shut schools because of rising infections. Prices had surged after Pfizer Inc. said a final analysis of clinical-trial data indicated its Covid-19 vaccine was 95% effective, spurring hopes for an eventual rebound in consumption.
U.S. crude stockpiles, meanwhile, posted a smaller-than-expected gain last week, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Vaccine-related developments have helped drive oil prices to the upper end of its recent trading range, but further gains have been limited as a resurgent coronavirus in the U.S. and Europe leads to renewed restrictions. Only 35% of Americans will be taking to the roads this year during the Thanksgiving holiday, compared to 65% last year. In Europe, road use also continues to decline.