Oil slides as fears grow that coronavirus resurgence could stunt fuel demand recovery


Oil prices fell on Friday, reversing earlier gains, as the resurgence of the coronavirus globally and in the United States, the world’s largest oil consumer, stoked worries that a fuel demand recovery could stall. Brent crude futures were down 35 cents, or 0.8%, at $42.79 a barrel as of 0633 GMT, and US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 35 cents, or 0.9%, to $40.30 a barrel. Both benchmarks rose more than 2% on Thursday, buoyed by stronger-than-expected US jobs data and a fall in US crude inventories. For the week, Brent is up 4.3% and WTI is up 4.7%. Increases in the daily cases of the coronavirus, however, globally and in the United States pressured prices. New US COVID-19 cases rose by more than 50,000 on Thursday, setting a record for a third consecutive day, according to a Reuters tally. “Crude oil prices are notoriously fickle when it comes to oscillations in global sentiment,” said Dimitri Zabelin, analyst at DailyFX.