Oil Falls as Growing Coronavirus Cases Stoke Fuel Demand Worries
EghtesadOnline: Crude prices fell on Friday as the resurgence of the coronavirus globally and in the United States, the world’s largest oil consumer, dimmed the prospects of fuel demand recovery.
Brent crude futures were down 37 cents, or 0.9%, at $42.77 a barrel, and US West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 34 cents, or 0.8%, to $40.31 a barrel, CNBC reported.
Both benchmarks rose more than 2% on Thursday, buoyed by stronger-than-expected US jobs data and a fall in US crude inventories.
Increases in the daily cases of the coronavirus, however, globally and in the United States pressured prices. New US Covid-19 cases rose by more than 50,000 on Thursday, setting a record for a third consecutive day.
“The market has become increasingly confident that easing restrictions on travel and business would boost demand for crude oil, but the pandemic’s progress threatens to derail this recovery,” ANZ Research said in a note.
“The recovery in gasoline demand will plateau until the US economy improves,” it said.
Gasoline demand will be closely watched as the United States heads into its July 4 holiday weekend as many Americans are expected to hit the road.
US gasoline stocks rose by 1.2 million barrels in the week to June 26, according to data from the Energy Information Administration released.