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July 20, 2020

Oil prices edge down due to rise in global Covid-19 infections

Oil prices have witnessed a decline as a rise in the Covid-19 infections globally tempers fuel demand recovery prospects.

By Srivani Venna

Oil prices have witnessed a decline as a rise in the Covid-19 infections globally tempers fuel demand recovery prospects.

Brent crude LCOc1 fell $0.25 at $42.89 a barrel while US oil was down by $0.22 and traded at $40.37 a barrel, Reuters reported.

According to a news agency’s count, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 14.5 million people worldwide and claimed the lives of over 604,000.

OANDA senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley said: “The risks of a second Covid-19 torpedo to world growth grow increasingly likely by the day.”

After countries globally implemented stringent lockdowns, fuel demand recovered from a 30% fall in April this year, but usage is still below pre-pandemic levels.

Due to a rise in infections, retail gasoline demand in the US is also witnessing a decline.

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Official figures have revealed that Japan’s oil imports last month declined by 14.7% compared to the same month last year.

Exports from the country declined by double-digit figures for the fourth month in a row as the pandemic took a heavy toll on demand worldwide.

Data released by energy services firm Baker Hughes showed that oil and gas companies in the US cut the number of rigs operating to a record for an 11th week in a row. The rig count serves as an early indicator of production in the future.

According to the data, the count declined by five to an all-time low of 253 in the week that ended on 17 July.

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