Oil falls more than 1% as surging COVID-19 cases stoke demand fears

TOKYO (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Monday, extending last week's losses, as a jump in COVID-19 infections in the United States and Europe raised alarms over crude demand, while the prospect of increased supply also hurt sentiment. Brent crude was down by 53 cents, or 1.3%, at $41.24 by 0052 GMT. U.S.

Reuters October 26, 2020 07:05:59 IST
Oil falls more than 1% as surging COVID-19 cases stoke demand fears

COVID-19 cases stoke demand fears" src="https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/uploads/reuters/10-2020/26/2020-10-26T012020Z_1_LYNXMPEG9P01W_RTROPTP_2_NORWAY-OIL-WAGES.jpg" alt="Oil falls more than 1 as surging COVID19 cases stoke demand fears" width="300" height="225" />

TOKYO (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Monday, extending last week's losses, as a jump in COVID-19 infections in the United States and Europe raised alarms over crude demand, while the prospect of increased supply also hurt sentiment.

Brent crude was down by 53 cents, or 1.3%, at $41.24 by 0052 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) dropped 53 cents, or 1.3%, to $39.32, having fallen more than a dollar shortly after the start of trading.

Brent fell 2.7% last week and WTI dropped 2.5%.

The United States reported its highest number yet of new coronavirus infections in two days through Saturday, while in France new cases hit a record of more than 50,000 on Sunday, underlining the severity of the outbreak.

On the supply side, Libya's National Oil Corp on Friday ended its force majeure on exports from two key ports and said production would reach 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in four weeks, a quicker ramp-up than many analysts had predicted.

OPEC+, a grouping of producers including the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia, is also set to increase output by 2 million bpd in January 2021 after cutting production by a record amount earlier this year.

"A resurgence in COVID-19 cases in Europe and North America has stopped the recovery in demand in its tracks," ANZ Research said in a note.

"If market conditions worsen, (OPEC+) will have no choice but to delay the increase of quotas by a month or two at its meeting on 1 December," ANZ said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated last week he may agree to extending OPEC+ oil production reductions.

In the United States, energy companies increased their rig count by five to take the total to 287 in the week to Oct. 23, the most since May, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co said. The rig count is an indicator of future supply.

Still, investors increased their net long positions in U.S. crude futures and options during the week through Oct. 20, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commision said on Friday.

(Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; editing by Richard Pullin)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

U.S. job openings rise slightly in September
Business

U.S. job openings rise slightly in September

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. job openings increased moderately in September and layoffs appeared to abate, pointing to a gradual labor market recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Central bankers seek new role in brave new world
Business

Central bankers seek new role in brave new world

By Balazs Koranyi and Francesco Canepa FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Taking a break from fighting the coronavirus crisis, the world's top central bankers will attempt to resolve the existential questions of their profession this week as they tune into the European Central Bank's annual policy symposium. Having struggled to lift anaemic inflation for years, officials including the heads of the ECB, the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of England will attempt to figure out why monetary policy is not working as it used to and what new role they must play in a changed world - be it fighting inequality or climate change.

Asian stocks extend gains as vaccine hopes support global reopening
Business

Asian stocks extend gains as vaccine hopes support global reopening

By Lawrence Delevingne BOSTON (Reuters) - Asian shares rose on Wednesday as hopes for a successful coronavirus vaccine lifted expectations of a swift reopening of the global economy, which would help the region's heavily trade-dependent markets.