Oil Prices Dip On Covid-19 Worries, US-China Tensions
(RTTNews) - Oil prices edged lower on Monday as rising coronavirus cases across the world as well as escalating tensions between the United States and China raised concerns of delay in economic recovery.
Benchmark Brent crude fell 17 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $43.61 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 13 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $41.16 a barrel.
Global coronavirus cases exceeded 16 million over the weekend with over 644,000 deaths, casting new potential clouds over the demand outlook.
China today reported its highest number of coronavirus cases in three months after fresh clusters hit three separate regions.
The U.K. surprised holidaymakers and tourism businesses alike over the weekend when it abruptly announced a 14-day quarantine on travelers coming from Spain.
The Spanish health ministry reported more than 900 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday.
Investor sentiment was also hit by worsening diplomatic ties between China and the United States following the closures of consulates in Houston and Chengdu.
Meanwhile, hurricane Hanna slammed into South Texas on Saturday, making landfall twice as a Category 1 storm.
It was later downgraded to tropical storm status but heavy rainfall from Hanna has already produced numerous reports of flash flooding across south Texas.
Oil and gas producers and refiners said on Friday that they did not expect the storm to affect operations.