Oil futures fell on Thursday on concerns the economic recovery in the United States, the world’s biggest oil consumer, is slowing as the coronavirus outbreak lingers and a resurgence in European cases led to new travel restrictions there, APA reports quoting Reuters.
Those fears prompted a rally in the dollar as investors turned to safer assets, adding pressure to oil prices. A stronger dollar makes oil, priced in U.S. dollars, less attractive to global buyers.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 36 cents, or 0.9%, to $39.57 a barrel at 0217 GMT, while Brent crude futures fell 28 cents, or 0.7%, to $41.49 a barrel.
Both benchmarks climbed slightly on Wednesday after government data showed U.S. crude and fuel stockpiles dropped last week. Gasoline inventories fell more than expected, sliding by 4 million barrels, and distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and jet fuel, posted a surprise drawdown of 3.4 million barrels.