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

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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.