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Oil's losing streak hits six days, benchmarks touch May lows

CommoditiesAug 19, 2021 03:31PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A gas pump is seen hanging from the ceiling at a petrol station in Seoul June 27, 2011. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak 2/2

By Stephanie Kelly

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Oil prices skidded on Thursday for a sixth session, hitting lows not seen since May, as investors pulled back over concerns about weakened global demand as COVID-19 cases climb and on the back of a rise in the U.S. dollar.

The oil market rallied throughout the first half of 2021, but has lost about 15% since early July. The recent wave of coronavirus infections worldwide has sapped global travel and threatens economic activity, just as major oil producers are getting ready to increase supply.

"There seems to be a lot of people getting squeezed out of long positions," said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group.

Brent crude lost $1.78, or 2.6%, to settle at $66.45 a barrel, after touching $65.57, the lowest level since May 21. The most-active contract for U.S. West Intermediate (WTI) fell $1.71, or 2.6%, to $63.50 a barrel. It fell earlier to $62.41 a barrel, the lowest level since May 21.

Both benchmarks have declined for six days in a row, their longest losing streak since February 2020.

Brent volumes were above 330,000 contracts, while volumes for the most-active WTI contract were more than 450,000, the highest since July 20.

The Delta variant of the coronavirus in areas where vaccine rates are low is driving transmission of COVID-19, the World Health Organization said. Coronavirus-related deaths have spiked in the United States over the past month.

The U.S. dollar hit a nine-month high on Thursday, a day after minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting showed policymakers are considering reducing pandemic-era stimulus this year. A rising U.S. dollar makes greenback-denominated oil more expensive for holders of other currencies. [USD/]

"There's concern that the Fed will begin tapering, resulting in a stronger dollar and weaker crude prices," said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.

U.S. gasoline inventories rose unexpectedly last week, federal data showed, adding to concern about demand. U.S. gasoline consumption tends to peak in the summer months, and should ebb headed into the latter months of 2021.

The International Energy Agency last week trimmed its oil demand outlook due to the spread of the Delta variant. OPEC, however, left its demand forecasts unchanged. [IEA/M] [OPEC/M]

Oil's losing streak hits six days, benchmarks touch May lows
 

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Comments (13)
Robert Cutler
Robert Cutler Aug 19, 2021 10:43AM ET
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Supply/demand has nothing to do with crude oil price, price will stay close to Putin's age
Millennial Metals
Millennial Metals Aug 19, 2021 9:17AM ET
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There is literally zero oil demand
MRKSMapa Bandara
KeerthiSri7010 Aug 19, 2021 9:06AM ET
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Oil will further go down as the uncertainty on delta variant issue continues and also due to the US- China trade concerns.
Tyrone Jackson
Tyrone Jackson Aug 19, 2021 7:27AM ET
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Biden’s administration will be responsible for 10’s of thousands of death . What a epic failure. And the people that voted for him should acknowledge that they are also responsible for this generational failure. They fail at everything they do.
andy matalobos
andy matalobos Aug 19, 2021 7:27AM ET
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Wrong....George Bush is responsible for this humiliating defeat....he chose the wrong target thinking that the Taliban was going to give him a quick military and political victory, knowing this stone age country was way more weaker than Saudi Arabia, the real target....all terrorist involved in the suicide attack of 9/11 were all Saudis with the exception of one Egyptian mercenary pilot.......arrogance and stupidity combines the perfect formula for the humiliating defeat for the U.S.A.
Sunil Kingrani
Sunil Kingrani Aug 19, 2021 5:56AM ET
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Sir gold ideas please
Karsten Vester
Karsten Vester Aug 19, 2021 5:12AM ET
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Drop to 66???? This is old news - speed up..
lorraine porto
lorraine porto Aug 19, 2021 5:12AM ET
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👍
Sergeant Carnage
Sergeant Carnage Aug 19, 2021 2:47AM ET
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The Fake News Media gets a nice payment from the Hedge Funds to spread fear. Locking people down in homes and shutting down businesses is very popular with politicians and news media.
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Shawn huang
Shawn huang Aug 19, 2021 2:47AM ET
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Why they do so? what's the benifit?
Shawn huang
Shawn huang Aug 19, 2021 2:47AM ET
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Why they do so.what's the benifit.
Shawn huang
Shawn huang Aug 19, 2021 2:47AM ET
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Why they do so.what's the benifit?
Shawn huang
Shawn huang Aug 19, 2021 2:47AM ET
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Why they do so.what's the benifit?
simone scelsa
simone scelsa Aug 19, 2021 2:47AM ET
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Shawn huang Total control
Hunt Richardson
Hunt Richardson Aug 18, 2021 11:14PM ET
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congratulations writers for using the word "fear" in a headline again. getting old isn't it?
MD JOY TRIPURA
MD JOY TRIPURA Aug 18, 2021 10:49PM ET
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very nice
ron king
ron king Aug 18, 2021 9:29PM ET
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stop spreading fear! There is nobody I know of that is selling oil due to the pandemic fear. This is just made up bs so ignorant non knowing people will read it and you still have a job.
 
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