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May 13, 2020

Oil prices drop over fears of second Covid-19 wave

Oil prices have edged-down amid concerns of a possible second wave of Covid-19 cases as some countries begin to ease lockdown measures.

By Himaja Ganta

Oil prices have edged-down amid concerns of a possible second wave of Covid-19 cases as some countries begin to ease lockdown measures.

Data from industry group American Petroleum Institute (API) highlighted a rise in crude inventories by 7.6 million barrels last week, to 526.2 million barrels, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters, US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $0.39, or 1.5%, to $25.39 a barrel. WTI rose 7% in the earlier session.

Meanwhile, Brent crude LCOc1 futures were down $0.58, or 1.9%, to $29.40 per barrel.

Traders shrugged off a further call by Saudi Arabia for deeper output cuts. Earlier this week, the country said it plans to cut production by a further one million barrels per day (bpd) next month.

AxiCorp chief markets strategist Stephen Innes was quoted by the news agency as saying: “While the market feels more comfortable on the supply side of the equation, on the demand side, the focus will continue to revolve around the risks of easing lockdowns.”

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Reuters cited Saudi Arabia’s state news agency as saying that the country has urged OPEC+ producers to further reduce oil output to stabilise prices which collapsed due to the plunge in demand in economies as a result of coronavirus pandemic.

In the wake of fall in fuel demand globally, the OPEC+ Group has officially started record supply cut production of approximately ten million bpd cuts agreed by the OPEC+ Group from 01 May.

ING said in a note: “Concerns over hitting storage capacity have eased, as we see demand gradually recovering, along with supply cuts hitting the market.”

Investors are still awaiting official storage data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) which is due to be released later today.

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