Oil prices fell on Monday, with increased cases of Coronavirus, as increased tension between the United States and China prompted investors towards safe haven assets.
And Brent crude fell eight cents, or 0.2%, to $ 43.26 a barrel by 04:03 GMT, while West Texas Intermediate U.S. crude lost seven cents, equivalent to 0.2% to $ 41.22.
The drop in oil prices reflects the decline in financial markets on a larger scale in Asia amid concerns about the escalation of tension between the two largest economies in the world after the closure of consulates in Houston and Chengdu. At the same time, cases of infection with the Corona virus exceeded 16 million.
Brent remains on track to post its fourth monthly gain in July, while US crude is heading up for the third month in a row, thanks to unprecedented supply cuts from OPEC and its allies that have supported prices. Production in the United States is also declining.
Oil demand improved somewhat from the sharp decline in the second quarter, which supported prices, but there is a disparity on the road to recovery with a return to the cessation of economic activities in the United States and other parts of the world, which curbs consumption.
The recovery in oil prices from the low levels earlier in the year encouraged the largest producers in the world to increase production and exports again.
The number of oil rigs operating in the United States rose last week for the first time since March, and producers added one rig, according to Baker Hughes data, in an indication that the decline in production in the United States may have reached the bottom.
Russia’s exports from western ports are expected to increase 36% in August compared to July, according to an initial loading plan and Reuters calculations.
As for Saudi Arabia, the largest oil exporter in the world, it topped the list of suppliers of crude to China again in June, at 2.16 million barrels per day, or about 17% of China’s record imports in that month.
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