U.S. oil rose for a sixth consecutive session on Wednesday while Brent gained more ground with a broad-based rally in global markets supporting prices.

The benchmark Brent crude rose 23 cents, or 0.3%, at $79.17 a barrel by 0101 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude added 21 cents, or 0.3%, at $76.19 a barrel.

Both contracts are trading near their highest levels in a month, aided by strength in equities.

Asset classes from oil to equities have clawed back losses from late November, when the Omicron variant of COVID-19 sent investors scurrying for safety.

A delay in Britain and France on imposing more COVID curbs before the year-end also excited investors. As the worst fears over the impact of the variant have subsided, investors have returned to risk assets.

Omicron-induced staff shortages led to thousands of flight cancellations over the Christmas weekend in the United States.

Oil prices were underpinned by three oil producers declaring forces majeures this month on part of their oil production because of maintenance issues and oilfield shutdowns.

A preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday that U.S. crude oil inventories are likely to have dropped for the fifth week in a row, while gasoline inventories were seen mostly unchanged last week.

Read more….