Oil falls 1% as spreading virus compounds concerns over demand hit

TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil prices fell around 1% on Friday, pressured by growing worries about fuel demand as a coronavirus epidemic spread further beyond China, and as major crude producers appeared to be in no rush to cut output to buttress the market. Brent crude LCOc1 was down 64 cents, or 1.1%, at $58.67 a barrel by 0703 GMT, while U.S. crude CLc1 dropped 54 cents, or 1%, at $53.34 a barrel. South Korea’s fourth-largest city has become the latest virus hotspot, with streets abandoned and residents staying indoors after dozens of people were infected in what authorities described as a “super-spreading event” at a church. Singapore and Japan are on the cusp of recession and the epidemic will be a major focus of talks at a meeting of G20 finance leaders on the weekend. In China itself, the world’s biggest importer of crude oil, new cases also rose on Friday from the day before even as Beijing presses on with efforts to contain the spread that has largely paralyzed the world’s second-biggest economy. “I think there is a lot of reason for caution right now, as the impact of coronavirus on demand is still unclear,” Stratfor oil analyst Greg… continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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