(Bloomberg) -- Oil hit its highest level since early September as signs that Covid-19 vaccinations in the U.S. could start as soon as December raised hopes for a pickup in the long-ailing demand outlook.Futures rose as much as 2.2% in New York, following a broader market rally as AstraZeneca Plc became the latest company to report a vaccine that protects most people. Vaccinations will “hopefully” start by Dec. 12, Moncef Slaoui, head of the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed program, said on CNN. Strong manufacturing out of the U.S. and Germany also buoyed crude.The prospect of a treatment has reshaped the oil futures curve, with near-term prices rebounding more than later-dated ones. Small pockets of the WTI curve moved into a bullish backwardation structure on Friday, and those gains continued early Monday.“Some of these back-of-the-curve markets switching from contango to backwardation is proof in the pudding that the market is optimistic about the prospects for a vaccine,” said Bob Yawger, director of the futures division at Mizuho Securities. “It’s a strong move here. There’s some really good stuff going on for this market.”The surge in crude prices has accompanied a slew of positive updates from pharmaceutical companies on their progress toward a Covid-19 vaccine. The broad market euphoria amid vaccine developments has led U.S. crude futures to notch a nearly 20% gain so far this month, even as U.S. hospitalizations of Covid-19 patients rises to the most since early April. Meanwhile, renewed virus lockdowns in Europe have pushed the region’s economy into another contraction.Meanwhile, Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed to have struck a Saudi Aramco fuel-distribution center in Jeddah on the kingdom’s west coast with a missile. Aramco didn’t respond to a request for comment.“The overall ‘risk-on’ sentiment is being driven by more positive vaccine news this weekend and oil prices in particular are being propelled higher by aggressive ‘short’ covering, especially in the ICE Brent contract,” said Ryan Fitzmaurice, commodities strategist at Rabobank. On top of further short covering, “the oil market will be focused on the OPEC+ meeting which is set for next week and which will likely begin to garner a great deal of attention as the week goes on.”The firming of the oil futures curve is a sign that the market expects a rapid tightening of supplies ahead, RBC analysts Michael Tran and Helima Croft wrote in a report. The move higher has been one of the largest in recent years, they said.Still, with inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, storage hub nearing levels rarely seen on a historical basis, the forward curve for West Texas Intermediate is overvalued, they said. The storage hub is 3.83 million barrels shy of levels seen in May when prices crashed.There are signs that the market is already seeing falling inventories. The amount of oil stored on tankers at sea fell to 115 million barrels last week, the lowest since April, according to Vortexa data.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.