Oil prices have inched lower after the US recorded its biggest one-day surge in Covid-19 cases adding concerns that the resurgence in cases would stall fuel demand recovery.
Brent crude eased $0.06 or 0.1% to touch $41.97 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down $0.10 or 0.3% to $39.72 per barrel, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, California reimposed some lockdown measures, banning much of the indoor restaurant dining, closing bars and enforcing strict measures of social distancing as Covid-19 infections surged in the state.
According to a Reuters tally, new Covid-19 cases in the US rose by about 50,000 on 1 July.
This is the biggest one-day surge since the start of the outbreak in the country.
More than half of the new Covid-19 cases each day are reported in the US states of Arizona, California, Florida and Texas.
Oil prices increased in the earlier session after industry group US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a 7.2 million barrels decline in the US crude inventories from a record high last week that ended on 26 June.
AxiCorp strategist Stephen Innes was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Counter-seasonal builds in gasoline inventories as stockpiles unexpectedly rose are not precisely a bullish delight.
“The EIA data showed that gasoline imports hit the highest level since last August and peaked the most on a seasonal basis in nine years.”