Pfizer (PFE -0.76%) and BioNTech (BNTX 0.56%) announced this morning that their coronavirus vaccine candidate BNT162b2 is showing 90% effectiveness in phase 3 clinical trials. The companies are planning to seek Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin distributing the coronavirus vaccine -- perhaps as early as the third week of November.
Pfizer expects to have 50 million doses of the vaccine ready by the end of this year, so it can begin distributing almost as soon as they receive the green light. The prospect of such near-term distribution is encouraging investors to believe that the global economy will soon be going full steam again. This would naturally lead to demand for more energy to operate factories and fuel automobiles -- and so oil prices are rising.
In fact, according to data from our friends at OilPrice.com, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices are up 9.6% in 11 a.m. EST trading, while Brent crude prices have gained 8.5%.
Reuters notes that these are the biggest gains energy investors have seen in more than six months. Helping to support prices, but at the same time keep them from running too hot, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman confirmed today that a recent deal to cut oil output signed between OPEC, Russia, and other oil-producing states can be adjusted as needed to both ensure adequate supply to support rising demand and at the same time not permit too much production, which might damage pricing power.
Stock prices of major oil companies, such as ExxonMobil (XOM 0.72%) and ConocoPhillips (COP -0.29%), are both reacting positively to the move, rising more than 10% in morning trading.