Oil prices closed lower today, Wednesday, after US stock numbers showed weak demand for refined products in conjunction with a global surge in COVID-19 infections.
Brent crude futures fell 1.43 dollars, equivalent to 3.3%, to determine the settlement price at 41.73 dollars a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell $ 1.67, or four percent, to close at $ 40.03. Both benchmarks rose earlier in the session.Crude inventories fell one million barrels over the week ending October 16 to 488.1 million, while gasoline stocks increased in continuation of weak demand for fuel.
Total products supplied, an indicator of demand, have remained down 13% since the start of the year and over the last four weeks compared to a year ago.
“The market is suffering badly on the demand side as the COVID-19 cases continue to grow,” said Tony Headrick, energy market analyst at CHS Hedging.
Covid-19 infections exceeded forty million on Tuesday, and some regions in Europe imposed new lockdown measures.
“Brent is particularly exposed to European regions that are undergoing new closures,” said Headrick.