SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Brent crude oil prices fell to $ 1 a barrel on Monday, due to new concerns about global fuel demand amid a tough coronavirus lockdown in Europe and new restrictions on movement in China, the world’s second-most. Big oil user, where the infection boomed.
Brent crude oil futures were down 78 cents, or 1.4%, to $ 55.21 a barrel from $ 0758 GMT, down $ 1 from $ 54.99 a session earlier. Brent gained momentum over the last four seasons.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) slipped 52 cents, or 1%, to $ 51.72 a barrel. The WTI reached its highest level in nearly a year on Friday.
Stephen Ines, Chief Global Markets Stephen Ines, said “Kovid’s hot spots are rising again with 11 million people (in) lockdown in China’s Hebei province. There has been some gains beyond the gates.” The strategist at Axi said in a note.
Mainland China saw its biggest daily increase in virus infections in more than five months, officials said on Monday, adding new infections grew in Hebei, which borders the capital Beijing.
Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital and epicenter of the new outbreak, is in lockdown, with people and vehicles barred from leaving, as authorities have sought to rein in the spread.
Much of Europe is now under the strictest restrictions, according to Oxford’s stringent index, which tracks measures such as travel restrictions and school and workplace closures.
Edward Crowne, a senior market analyst at OANDA, said “Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman revealed Saudi Arabia’s future beyond oil and his price rise in Asia in February for crude oil sales in Iraq.”
Saudi’s prince on Sunday unveiled plans to build a zero-carbon city at NEOM, the first major construction project for a $ 500 billion flagship business zone aimed at diversifying the economy of the world’s largest oil exporting country.
Nevertheless, the loss of oil prices was curbed by US President-elect Joe Biden’s plans to announce trillions of dollars in new virus relief bills this week that were to be funded through borrowing.
Crude prices were supported by Saudi Arabia’s pledge to cut 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in voluntary oil production in February and March.
Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Clarence Fernandez