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Oil Falls as Rising Global COVID-19 Numbers Fuel Demand Worries

CommoditiesApr 18, 2021 11:37PM ET
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© Reuters.

By Gina Lee

Investing.com – Oil was down Monday morning in Asia, as rising numbers of COVID-19 cases globally stoked fuel demand recovery fears.

Brent oil futures rose 0.45% to $66.47 by 11:32 PM ET (3:32 AM GMT). WTI futures held steady at $63.19 after rolling over to the June 2021 contract on Apr. 18.

"With ... a resurgence of virus cases in India and Japan, topside ambitions continue to run into walls of profit-taking," Axi chief market strategist Stephen Innes told Reuters.

India reported 261,500 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, and currently has the second-highest number of cases globally after the U.S. The number of deaths globally has also surpassed the 3 million mark as of Apr. 19, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Hong Kong on Sunday slapped a two-week ban on flights from India, Pakistan and the Philippines in effect from Apr. 20, as the first two cases of the mutated N501Y COVID-19 strain were reported over the weekend.

Numbers are also rising in Japan, which is on the cusp of a fourth wave of infections, which in turn could impact fuel demand in the world’s third-largest economy.

A slower-than-expected rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is also of concern to investors. Investors are also keeping an eye on the global crude oil supply, with data from the American Petroleum Institute due on Tuesday.

Oil Falls as Rising Global COVID-19 Numbers Fuel Demand Worries
 

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