Oil prices have slipped by 3% as rising cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) infections in the US and Europe increased concerns over crude demand.

Brent crude futures were down by $1.25 or 0.3% to $40.52 a barrel while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures fell by $1.28 touching $38.57, Reuters reported.

Last week, Brent futures fell 2.7% and WTI dropped by 2.5%.

The total confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide have exceeded 41,798,000 with more than 1,137,000 deaths and 28,349,000 recoveries, as of 23 October.

The US, India, and Brazil combined remains the most heavily affected country worldwide, accounting for 50% of the total confirmed cases across the world.

On 25 October, new cases in France hit a record of more than 50,000, ‘underlining’ the outbreak severity.

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Meanwhile, on the supply front, Libya’s NOC ended its ban on exports from two major ports on 23 October.

Phillip Futures Singapore senior manager commodities Avtar Sandu was quoted by the news agency as stating: “New barrels of Libyan oil come at a time when the crude oil market had just faced the disappointment from the recently concluded OPEC+ ministerial panel when the organisation made no new policy proposals.”

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and its allies, including Russia, together known as OPEC+, is set to increase output by 2Mbpd in January 2021 after reducing output by a record amount earlier this year.

The US oil rig count increased to 287 in the week to 23 October, according to data from American energy services firm Baker Hughes.