Oil Prices Tumble as China’s COVID-19 Cases Rise
Brent lost $1 per barrel Monday and WTI - 52 cents per barrel, hit by concerns about global fuel demand amid new COVID-19 flare ups in China and tough lockdown reimpositions in Europe.
Mainland China saw its biggest daily increase in infections in over five months, authorities said on Monday, as new infections rose in Hebei, which surrounds Beijing, as well as
Shijiazhuang. Additionally, most of Europe is now under the strictest restrictions, according to the Oxford stringency index, which tracks measures alike travel bans, as well as school and workplace closures.
"Brent is underperforming after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman revealed Saudi Arabia's future beyond oil and Iraq increased their pricing for crude sales to Asia in February”, further commented Edward Moya - a senior market analyst at OANDA.
The Saudi crown prince unveiled plans to build a zero-carbon city at NEOM, aimed at diversifying the economy of the world's largest oil exporter. Still, oil price losses were curbed by plans for to-be-president Joe Biden to announce trillions of dollars in new virus relief bills this week.
All in all, Brent crude oil futures were down 78 cents, to $55.21 a barrel by 07.58 GMT, after falling $1 to a session low of $54.99 earlier. WTI, in turn, had slipped 52 cents to $51.72 a barrel.
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