By Devika Krishna Kumar
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices firmed by about 2% on Wednesday on hopes OPEC and its allies will delay a planned increase in oil output and after Pfizer said its COVID-19 vaccine was more effective than previously reported.
The market was also supported by a smaller-than-expected increase in U.S. crude stockpiles last week.
Brent crude rose 90 cents, or 2.1%, to $44.65 a barrel by 1:58 p.
m. ET (1858 GMT,) while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 68 cents, or 1.6%, to $42.11.