Fundamental Comment

Oil set for another heavy weekly loss amid coronavirus fears

Oil set for another heavy weekly loss amid coronavirus fears

Oil prices continued to trade lower on Friday set for another heavy loss this week, as worries about the impact of the spread of the coronavirus on global oil demand persisted.

Earlier in the session, oil prices showed some signs of recovery after the WHO refused to put restrictions on both the trade and travel sectors, but declared the disease as a global emergency.

Oil prices plunged to its lowest level since October 10 on Thursday amid rising deaths and infections from China's new corona epidemic.

As of 08:06 GMT, Brent crude reached $57.79 per barrel, extending its drop for a third straight session, where it has lost, so far, more than 4 percent this week.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures traded at $52.65 per barrel, preparing for its fourth consecutive weekly decline.

 

According to China's National Health Commission, 43 new people died by the end of Thursday, following the rapidly spreading virus. This brings the total number of deaths to 213, up from only 170 in the previous day.

The situation does not depend solely on the number of deaths, as another 1,982 cases of the disease have been detected, with a total of 9,692 confirmed by the Chinese government.

Apart from China, things are getting worse with the announcement of the first person-to-person transmission within the United States, which was announced yesterday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 15 countries have reported cases of the deadly virus, including Germany, France and Japan, and cases have emerged in the Middle East for the first time since the virus originated earlier this week.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which measures the performance of six major currencies against the US dollar, surged 0.01 percent at 97.70.

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