Crude oil prices were down on Friday as a new record high number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases worldwide is negatively impacting the outlook for global oil demand.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $41.75 per barrel at 0633 GMT on Friday for a 1.41% loss after closing Thursday at $42.35 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $38.91 a barrel at the same time for a 1.79% decline after ending the previous day at $39.62 per barrel.
Worldometer, which provides real-time statistics, said Friday that the daily number of COVID-19 cases worldwide spiked by 223,230 on Thursday to break a single-day record.
In the US, the world’s largest oil consumer, the number of daily cases reached a record high level of 61,848 on Wednesday, and soared to 61,067 on Thursday, the data showed.
India, another major oil consumer, posted a record increase in daily cases for two consecutive days, by 25,571 on Wednesday and 25,790 on Thursday.
While daily new cases in Mexico increased by 6,995, South Africa saw new cases jump by 13,674 — both single-day records for each country.
The record new number of daily COVID-19 cases in major oil-consuming countries is curtailing the global oil consumption forecast for the remainder of the year while driving crude prices down.
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