Oil falls 6% after surprise travel restrictions from Trump


An oil rig in Texas, in the image from the Reuters archive.

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices fell more than 6 percent on Thursday after US President Donald Trump suddenly announced restrictions on flights from Europe to try to stem the spread of the Corona virus after the World Health Organization described the outbreak as a pandemic.

The decline in oil was exacerbated by the risk of a flood of cheap supplies after Saudi Arabia and the UAE said they would increase production, as part of a confrontation with Russia.

By 1501 GMT, Brent crude was down $ 2.29, or 6.4 percent, to $ 33.50 a barrel. And US crude fell 1.66 dollars, or five percent, to record 31.32 dollars.

Global stocks were also hit hard after Trump said the United States would suspend all flights from Europe, except Britain and Ireland, while announcing measures to contain the virus.

Burnard Tonjohnen, director of oil markets at Restad Energy Consultants, said the oil market has taken the decision in a very negative direction due to its expected impact on jet fuel demand, corporate activities and economic growth.

“It leads to more loss of confidence in the governments’ handling of the implications and increases uncertainty about the impact of the virus on the economy in general, which was shown in the form of sharp declines in various high-risk assets this morning, ”he said.

Prepared by Ahmed Elhamy for the Arabic Bulletin


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