Crude oil prices were down Monday to open the new week on a lower note amid a bleaker outlook for global oil demand due to the rising coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the US and China.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $37.31 per barrel at 0626 GMT for a 3.6% decline after closing Friday at $38.73 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $34.41 a barrel at the same time for a 5.1% fall after ending Friday at $36.26 per barrel.
Rising coronavirus cases in various US states and Wuhan in China have triggered fears of a second coronavirus outbreak.
These countries are the world’s two largest economies and oil consumers, thus a second wave of quarantine measures could weaken their oil consumption and economies.
On the supply side, OPEC and its allies will continue to cut their crude oil productions until the end of July, but it is yet unclear how much their curb will help to trim the glut of supply in the global oil market.
Low oil prices continue to hammer crude oil production in the US, as the number of oil rigs, an indicator of short-term production in the country, fell for the thirteenth consecutive week for the week ending June 12.
Over the past thirteen weeks, the US saw a decline in the US oil rig count of 484, according to oilfield services company Baker Hughes’ data on Saturday.
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