"Brent is continuing to defy all the negative news," said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank. "More and more countries in Europe and states in the U.S. are tightening the corona restrictions over Christmas and the new year, which is likely to weigh on demand."
Forecasters are also trimming demand numbers. The International
Energy Agency on Tuesday said that any impact of the vaccines on demand is several months away. OPEC on Monday had said oil demand will rise more slowly than expected.
"There is a growing agreement between forecasting agencies that the improvement in global oil demand might not start at the beginning of next year but in the second half," said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.
The first of this week's two U.S. inventory reports, from the American Petroleum Institute, is due at 2130 GMT (4:30 p.m.
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