Oil prices slip ahead of data pointers on impact of coronavirus on demand

Oil prices slip ahead of data pointers on impact of coronavirus on demand
  • Clock-gray 07:31
  • calendar-gray 17 February 2020

Oil prices edged lower on Monday as investors brace for economic data in Asia due this week that should give a reading on how China’s coronavirus epidemic has affected oil demand, APA reports quoting Reuters.

Brent crude LCOc1 was at $56.99 a barrel, down 33 cents by 0121 GMT after rising 5.2% last week, the biggest weekly gain since September 2019. 

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 fell 13 cents to $51.92 a barrel, after a 3.4% gain last week. 

The weekly gains, the first since early January, were spurred by hopes that stimulus measures taken by China to support its economy amid the coronavirus outbreak could lead to a recovery in oil demand in the world’s largest importing country. 

But the International Energy Agency (IEA) said the virus is already set to cause oil demand to fall by 435,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the first quarter from the same period a year ago, in what would be the first quarterly drop since the depths of the financial crisis in 2009.

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