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October 30, 2020

Oil prices on course for second monthly fall as Covid-19 cases rise

Global oil prices have edged up but are set for a second monthly fall as increasing cases of Covid-19 infections in Europe and the US create concerns over fuel consumption.

By Himaja Ganta

Global oil prices have edged up but are set for a second monthly fall as increasing cases of Covid-19 infections in Europe and the US create concerns over fuel consumption.

Brent crude futures were up by $0.03 to $37.68 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures increased by $0.08, touching $36.25, Reuters reported.

The news agency cited a Singapore-based oil trader who said that the market is ‘anxious’ about renewed lockdowns in Europe and the US election next month.

The American dollar value has increased this week against several other currencies, making oil ‘more expensive’ to holders of other currencies.

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

However, major producers Saudi Arabia and Russia plan to maintain the group’s current output reduction of approximately 7.7 Mbpd into the next year in the wake of rising Libyan oil output and new Covid-19-related restrictions in Europe.

A policy meeting is expected to be scheduled by the OPEC+ between 30 November and 1 December.

Meanwhile, many European nations imposed new restrictions this week to limit the spread of the virus with Germany saying its economy may not recover until 2022.

Global Covid-19 infections are nearing 44.5 million, reaching 44,495,972. The global Covid-19 death toll now stands at 1,174,225, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

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