In the oil sector, in the expectation of an economic rebound in 2021 thanks to anti-Covid-19 vaccinations, optimism continues to lift prices. U.S. light crude oil (WTI) eventually held up well with the January Nymex contract adding up 2.8 percent to $46.78 a barrel.
The Brent delivery in January contract ended up 2.8 percent at $50.25 per barrel, for the first time in 9 months, moving back over the $50 mark.
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In Washington, speculation persists about the prospect of implementing a new support package, planned for the end of next week for the Covid-19 crisis prior to the end of the current parliament. Two projects of almost the same amount are now under discussion: the first, worth $908 billion, was tabled by the Democratic and Republican Senators’ bipartisan committee last week. The second project, worth $916 billion, was introduced to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday.
Mr. Mnuchin and Nancy Pelosi, the House of Representatives’ Democratic leader, both announced ‘change’ in the talks on Thursday, but an agreement remains to be reached with Ms. Pelosi remaining in support of the $908 billion Senate proposal. For his part, Republican Senate President Mitch McConnell, whose support is key to passing a new plan, said he was now prepared to approve the $916 billion plan of the Treasury Secretary, and said “everything we can” to help the economy.
Time is running out, and without a vote on a new aid package by the end of the legislature (on 18 December in principle), several services will end on 31 December to aid Americans in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, depriving 12 million people of unemployment insurance. The failure to approve a new package to be introduced to the new Congress in January is at least a month old, but legislation is not expected to be enacted until the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20.