Oil under pressure: Crude prices sink further on virus anxiety

Oil plunges over 5% as pandemic surges, US crude output soars

Oil plunges over 5% as pandemic surges, US crude output soars

Also pressuring prices, US crude stockpiles rose more than expected last week as production surged in a record build, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

US crude oil and gasoline stocks rose last week, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed, with crude inventories rising by 4.6 million barrels to about 495.2 million barrels, against analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a build of 1.2 million barrels.

Futures for global benchmark Brent were down 3.89 percent, trading at 37.60 a barrel, hitting its lowest level since mid-June.

That was the lowest close for Brent since June 12 and for WTI since Oct 2.

Both main oil contracts fell five percent for part of the day before clawing back some of their losses, extending this week's meltdown to plumb four-month lows on virus-driven demand fears. USA crude was down $2.13, or 5.3%, at $37.44 after a 2.6% jump the previous day.

The safe-haven USA dollar rose 0.5 per cent on prospects of national lockdowns in Germany and France to fight the pandemic. US oil was up 13 cents, or 03%, at $38.69 a barrel, after also declining more than 3% on Monday.

The United States, Russia, France, and other countries have registered record numbers of infections in recent days, and European governments have introduced new curbs to try to rein in the fast-growing outbreaks.

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Vitamin D deficiency has been connected to several health conditions including obesity and less resilience to the flu. The CDC also warns on its website that "high levels of vitamin D may cause hypercalcemia and nephrocalcinosis".

"The market is under pressure from a toxic brew of no stimulus, rapidly increasing coronavirus cases, and the surprise increase of oil production in Libya", Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho Securities.

President Donald Trump acknowledged on Tuesday that a coronavirus economic relief deal would likely come after the election, with the White House unable to bridge differences with fellow Republicans in the U.S. Senate as well as congressional Democrats.

Adding to pressure on oil markets, Libya's production is expected to rebound to 1 million bpd in the coming weeks.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russian Federation, a group known as OPEC+, had planned to raise output by 2 million barrels per day (bpd) in January.

"With a European slowdown jeopardising global consumption and the return of Libyan production, the onus must now fall on OPEC+ to reconsider their 2 million barrel-per-day production increases in January", said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific, at OANDA in Singapore.

Prices got some support from the potential drop in USA production as oil companies began shutting offshore rigs with the approach of a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico.

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