Crude oil prices were down on Tuesday as the rising number of new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in some key US states is dampening the outlook for oil demand in the country.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $42.66 per barrel at 0648 GMT for a 1.02% loss after closing Monday at $43.10 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $40.20 a barrel at the same time for a 1.05% decline after ending the previous session at $40.63 per barrel.
The total number of COVID-19 cases has reached 206,447 in the US state of Florida on Monday, according to the Florida Department of Health.
The state of Texas has also surpassed 200,000 cases in total on Monday, coming only 17 days after crossing the 100,000 mark for new cases.
In California, the state has 271,684 confirmed cases as of Monday as “hospitalization rates are also trending upward in the 14-day average,” the California Department of Public Health said in a statement.
The three states are the most populous in the US with the highest oil consumption levels.
The rise in COVID-19 cases in these states is weakening economic activity and oil consumption and is indicative of low US oil demand for the remainder of 2020, which correspondingly is putting downward pressure on crude prices.
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