Oil prices have slipped after witnessing four-day gains, as surging cases of Covid-19 infections globally and in the US create concerns over fuel demand recovery.
Brent crude futures fell by $0.04, or 0.1%, at $44.39 a barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $0.08, or 0.2%, reaching $41.62 per barrel, Reuters reported.
Covid-19 cases continue to surge in the US, reporting deaths of over 1,000 per day. Many US states had to halt plans of reopening their economies due to increasing cases.
Data released by the industry group American Petroleum Institute (API) has highlighted a fall in the crude stocks by 8.6 million barrels to 520 million barrels in the week ending 1 August.
Investors are still awaiting data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), which is due to be released later today.
The news agency cited ING Economics as stating: “It would be safe to say that US crude oil inventories are in a firm downward trend.”
Talks between the top Democrats in the US Congress and the White House on a new coronavirus relief bill started progressing, though Congressional Democrats and Republicans are yet to come to a consensus on next moves.
Meanwhile, Japan’s services industry, a key driver of economic growth, shrank for a sixth straight month in July, according to data.
This indicated that activities in Japan, the world’s third-biggest economy, were badly hit by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 18.3 million with more than 694,000 deaths and 10.9 million recoveries.