Crude oil prices have made fresh falls due to fears the global coronavirus shutdown could last months and diminish demand.
According to Reuters, Brent crude futures were down by $1.93 to $23.00 a barrel. Earlier, it dropped to $22.76, its lowest point in 18 years.
Meanwhile, US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $1.14 to $20.37 per barrel.
UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Global oil demand is evaporating on the back of Covid-19-related travel restrictions and social distancing measures.
In addition to demand destruction caused by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, oil prices have slumped due to the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
The countries have both increased oil production, leading to over-production suppressing oil markets.
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National Australia Bank commodities research head Lachlan Shaw said: “OPEC, Saudi Arabia and Russia could mend their differences, but there’s not that much OPEC could do. The demand shock from Covid-19 is just too big.”
Meanwhile, global deaths from the Covid-19 coronavirus have crossed 31,191, while the confirmed cases stand at 672,086. About 143,870 are reported to have recovered from the virus.
The US has overtaken Italy as the country with the most Covid-19 positive cases. Currently, the number of confirmed cases in the US have passed 86,000, while the number of deaths reached 1,300.