Oil prices plunged around 2% on Monday, extending last week’s slump of more than 8%, amid the rising US dollar and mounting fears that the rapid spread of the Delta variant globally may cloud the demand outlook.
In China, there were 125 new virus cases on Friday, the highest since mid-January, with authorities reportedly launching new restrictions, including flight cancellations, warnings by 46 cities against travel, and limits on public transport and taxi services in 144 of the worst-hit areas.
Meanwhile, daily new virus cases in the U.S have climbed to a six-month high, with more than 100,000 infections reported nationwide.
Thursday, however, the oil markets attempted a rebound after cross-border hostilities between Israrl and Iran accelerated as both sides engaged in rocket exchange after a tanker off the coast of Oman was attacked last week.
At around 04:00 AM GMT, WTI crude shed 2% to $66.94 a barrel, while Brent oil lost 1.9% to $69.4 a barrel.
The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark for US crude is the world’s most actively traded commodity.
RBC: Okwosi Esther
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