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Oil prices fall due to renewed fears of coronavirus, while cases in China are rising

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Brent crude fell 1 dollar a barrel on Monday amid renewed concerns about global fuel demand amid heavy coronavirus shutdowns in Europe and new traffic restrictions in China, China’s second-largest consumer. oil in a world where infections have skyrocketed.

PHOTO PHOTO: Crude oil storage tanks can be seen from an aerial photo at the Cushing Oil Center in Cushing, Oklahoma, USA, April 21, 2020. REUTERS / Drone Base

Brent crude futures fell 78 cents, or 1

.4 percent, to $ 55.21 a barrel to $ 7,758 GMT, after falling $ 1 to a low of $ 54.99 earlier. Brent has climbed in the previous four sessions.

The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell 52 cents, or 1 percent, to $ 51.72 a barrel. WTI rose to its highest level in almost a year on Friday.

“Covid’s hotspots, which are erupting again in Asia, with 11 million (un) blocked in the Chinese province of Hebei … along with a touch of the uncertainty of Fed policy, have caused some profit from the gates,” said Stephen Ines, chief global market strategist. Axi, it says in a note.

Mainland China has seen the biggest daily increase in viral infections in more than five months, authorities said Monday as new infections rose in Hebei, which surrounds the capital Beijing.

Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital and the epicenter of the new outbreak, has been blocked and people and vehicles banned from leaving as authorities try to control the spread.

Most of Europe is currently subject to the strictest restrictions, according to the Oxford Strictness Index, which tracks measures such as travel bans and the closure of schools and jobs.

“Brent is doing poorly after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman revealed the future of Saudi Arabia beyond oil, and Iraq increased its crude oil sales prices in Asia in February,” said Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at OANDA.

The Saudi heir to the throne has revealed plans to build a zero-carbon city at NEOM, the first major construction project for the world’s leading $ 500 billion business zone, aimed at diversifying the economy of the world’s largest oil exporter.

Still, oil price losses were limited by plans by US President-elect Joe Biden to announce trillions of dollars in new accounts to alleviate the virus this week, which will be financed by increased loans.

Commodity prices were backed by Saudi Arabia’s promise last week to voluntarily cut oil production by 1 million barrels a day in February and March as part of a deal for most OPEC + producers to keep production stable during new blockades.

Report by Jessica Jaganathan; Edited by Christian Schmolinger and Clarence Fernandez

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