TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil prices varied on Wednesday, as a record increase in Covid-19 cases in some US states raised concerns about fuel demand in the world’s largest crude consumer, erasing early gains in oil following a sudden drop in crude stocks. American.
Brent crude futures rose three cents, or 0.1 percent, to $ 43.25 a barrel by 0529 GMT, after falling 0.4 percent on Tuesday.
US West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell six cents, 0.2 percent to $ 40.98 a barrel, and had lost 1.4 percent in the previous session.
Crude inventories in the United States fell by 6.8 million barrels last week to 531 million barrels, according to data from the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday.
Analysts had expected an increase of 357 thousand barrels. US government data will be released on Wednesday.
But growing Covid-19 infections keep fears of low oil demand persisting, leading to market glut with the announcement of record numbers of coronavirus infections worldwide, including the United States, the largest consumer of crude.
“It became evident that the recovery in oil demand, which many expect in the second half of the year, is overly optimistic,” said ING Research.
“Increased cases of Covid-19, along with continued travel restrictions, means that demand recovery has faltered, or at least slowed down.”
Prepared by Hala Kandil for the Arab Bulletin – Edited by Moataz Mohamed