Oil drops as new coronavirus outbreaks raise fuel demand concerns
Oil fell more than 2% on Monday, extending losses from last week, as new coronavirus infections hit China and the United States, raising the prospect that renewed outbreaks of the virus could weigh on the recovery of fuel demand, Reuters reports.
Brent crude futures fell 89 cents, or 2.3%, to $37.84 a barrel by 0302 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down $1.18, or 3.3%, to $35.08 a barrel.
A cluster of infections in Beijing has increased concern of a resurgence of the disease. The coronavirus pandemic started at the end of last year in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
The oil benchmarks fell about 8% last week, their first weekly declines since April, as U.S. coronavirus cases started increasing. Over the weekend, more than 25,000 new U.S. cases were reported on Saturday alone as more states reported record new infections and hospitalizations.
An OPEC-led monitoring panel will meet on Thursday to discuss ongoing record production cuts and see whether countries have delivered their share of the reductions, but will not make any decision, according to five OPEC+ sources.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, collectively known as OPEC+, have been reducing supplies by 9.7 million bpd, about 10% of pre-pandemic demand, and agreed in early June to extend the cuts for a month until end-July.