Oil prices rose Wednesday as the results of the U.S. presidential election remained uncertain. Brent crude, the international benchmark, and West Texas Intermediate, the American standard, were up about 3.5 percent.
Oil prices, which had risen as much as 2 percent in the evening on Election Day, slumped after President Trump said that he had won, even though several battleground states have not yet reported results. The prices quickly recovered.
With no clear outcome in the United States, traders reacted to other news, including industry data published Tuesday showing a sharp fall in stockpiles of crude oil in the United States. This drop may indicate that economic recovery from the pandemic in the country, the world’s largest oil consumer, may be stronger than expected. Concerns had been growing that new lockdowns in countries like Britain, France and Germany might curb oil consumption.
In addition, hopes are increasing that OPEC and Russia may agree to curb output further or at least defer increases that are planned from the beginning of next year.
Over the longer term, analysts say, a victory for Joseph R. Biden Jr. might have negative implications for oil prices. Mr. Biden, for instance, has said he would push for a transition away from oil to greener forms of energy, leading to reduced consumption of fossil fuels. He might also try to revive the nuclear deal with Iran that the Trump administration torpedoed, eventually bringing a flood of Iranian crude back on the market.
Mr. Trump has been a strong advocate for the oil industry in the United States, pushing for deregulation and looser environmental standards. Earlier this year, he leaned on OPEC and Russia to trim production to bolster prices in the United States.
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