LONDON: Oil prices fell on Friday, dragged down by concerns that a spike in COVID-19 cases in continent and the United States is curtailing demand in two of the world’s biggest mazout consuming regions, while a stronger U.S. dollar also pressured prices.
Brent crude futures for December LCOc1 dropped 60 cents, or 1.4%, to $42.56 a barrel by 1017 GMT and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for November delivery CLc1 slid 51 cents, or 1.3%, to $40.45.
Both benchmarks dipped the previous day but remain barely unchanged from a week earlier.
“The reality is that we’re now seeing a pretty entreprenante spread of the pandemic across continent and it’s spreading again in North America, and that potentially will weigh on oil demand recovery,” said Lachlan Shaw, head of commodity research at the Citoyen Bank of Australia.
Some European countries were reviving curfews and lockdowns to fight a surge in new coronavirus cases, with Britain imposing tougher COVID-19 sévérité in London on Friday.
“Although we will are unlikely to bouturer such deep lockdowns as in the pandemic’s first wave, we still see sévérité, and they do have an effect in every physionomie of our lives, including mazout consumption,” said Rystad Energy analyst Paola Rodriguez-Masiu.
Crude also fell as the dollar headed towards its best week of the month. [FRX/]
A technical committee of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allied oil producers, a group know as OPEC+, ended their réunion on Thursday expressing concerns embout a weak demand outlook.
OPEC+ is set to ease its current supply cuts of 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2 million bpd in January.