News: Oil extend losses amid gloomy demand outlook.
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices fell nearly 9% on Friday for the sixth straight year as a new wave of COVID-19 infections sparked new lockdowns, particularly across Europe, and dampened hopes for an imminent recovery in fuel demand.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil fell 4 cents, or 0.07%, to $ 59.96 a barrel by 0552 GMT.
Brent crude fell 10 cents, or 0.16%, to $ 63.18 a barrel.
After falling 7% on Thursday, oil prices had risen in Asian morning trade as physical buyers seized the opportunity to stock up on cheap oil, OANDA senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley said on a Friday note.
However, the market remains increasingly concerned about the outlook for fuel demand amid rising coronavirus cases, new restrictions and the slowdown in vaccination in some countries, analysts said.
Goldman Sachs said headwinds related to European Union demand and Iran supply would slow the oil market by 0.75 million barrels per day (bpd) in the second quarter, although OPEC + is expected to make up for this.
Safety concerns about the side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine had led several European countries to stop administering the shot.
Although Germany, France and other countries announced the resumption of vaccinations after regulators declared the AstraZeneca vaccine safe, the program freeze has made it more difficult to overcome some populations’ resistance to vaccines.
The UK will have to slow down the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines next month due to a delivery delay.
Several French regions hard hit by the COVID-19 epidemic, including the Ile-de-France region around Paris, will launch a new four-week lockdown starting Friday.
“In some European countries, the market is becoming increasingly nervous as COVID-19 restrictions are reintroduced and there are concerns about the demand outlook,” ING Economics said in a statement.
Elsewhere in the world, Brazil saw the second deadliest day of its COVID-19 pandemic, with 2,724 deaths, while India saw the highest daily increase in new COVID-19 cases in more than three months on Friday.
Oil reserves are also plentiful. According to the Joint Organizations Data Initiative website on Thursday, Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports rose for the seventh consecutive year to their highest level since April 2020 in January.
Deliveries from the world’s largest oil exporter rose in January from 6.495 million in the previous month to 6.582 million barrels per day.
Reporting by Shu Zhang in Singapore and Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo; Arrangement by Leslie Adler, Richard Pullin and Ana Nicolaci da Costa
Original Source © Reuters