Oil slumps 5% on demand concerns as coronavirus spreads

Tue 25 Feb 2020 20:10 GMT | 00:10 Local Time

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Oil prices slumped by 5% on Monday as the rapid spread of the coronavirus in countries outside China added to investor concerns over the effect on demand for crude, according to Reuters.

Global equities also extended losses as worries about the impact of the virus grew, with the number of cases jumping in Iran, Italy and South Korea.

Brent crude LCOc1 futures fell $2.96, or 5.1%, to $55.54 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures dropped by $2.58, or 4.8%, to $50.80 a barrel.

“As the virus spreads globally, additional downside revisions in oil demand for this year may be required,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note.

“The accelerated sell-off in the stock market has become difficult for the oil market to ignore,” he added.

The coronavirus has infected nearly 77,000 people and killed more than 2,500 in China, most of them in Hubei.

South Korea’s fourth-largest city, Daegu, was increasingly isolated as the number of infections there rose rapidly.

Europe’s biggest outbreak is in Italy, which reported a seventh death from the flu-like virus and 220 infections.




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