Crude oil drops 1% as rising coronavirus cases end supply-led rally

18 Janvier, 2021, 17:11 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Oil posts first weekly decline since late December on China lockdown demand concern

Oil prices fell on Monday, to deepen losses for the second straight day and pulled back further from an 11-month high on profit-taking and renewed concerns about the global demand due to the rising Covid-19 infections in most parts of the world.

On Friday, both United Kingdom and US WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil futures' prices plunged as much as 2 per cent with both oil contracts reporting weekly percentage drops for the first time in three weeks as concerns were mounting over another wave of pandemic outbreak in China after a number of major Chinese cities had been locked down following a recent uptick in pandemic cases.

U.S based mostly oil contract, West Texas Intermediate futures, plunged by 2.2.% to settle at $52.36 per barrel.

U.S. drillers last week put more oil and natural gas rigs to work for an eighth consecutive week, encouraged by recent price strength that made production more profitable, though the number of operating rigs is still less than half the level of a year ago.

The benchmarks had rallied in the past few weeks, buoyed by COVID-19 vaccine rollouts and a surprise cut in output by Saudi Arabia. However, new surging infections across the world have raised doubts about the fuel demand.

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Drillers in the U.S. added more pressure to the oil market by putting more oil and natural gas rigs to work for the eighth consecutive week last week.

The total operating rigs rose to 287, the highest level since the week ending May 8, 2020.

USA drillers have indicated they will continue to control their spending, ANZ Research said in a note.

US shale producers have quickly responded to market gains in recent years, winning market share as Saudi Arabia and other major producers such as Russian Federation have cut production in an attempt to support global oil and gas prices.

China reported more than 100 new COVID-19 cases for the sixth consecutive day, while the number of hospitalised COVID-19 patients with serious symptoms in Japan topped 970, marking a record high since the onset of the pandemic in the country.

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