Oil prices fall as rising coronavirus infections stoke demand concerns

A Petrobras Oil platform is seen at Guabanara bay in Rio de Janeiro, March 26, 2010.. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices edged lower on Monday as rising COVID-19 infections in India and other countries promoted concerns that stronger measures to contain the virus will hit economic activity.

Brent crude fell 17 cents to $66.60 a barrel by 0655 GMT, after rising 6% last week. U.S. oil was down 15 cents at $62.98 a barrel, having gained 6.4% last week.

“The progress of vaccination drives in the developed markets can be seen in road traffic levels, but resurging case numbers have reversed the recovery in the emerging countries,” ANZ Research said in a report on Monday, according to Reuters.

In India, authorities reported a record rise in coronavirus infections of 273,810 on Monday, increasing overall cases to just over 15 million, making the second-worst affected after the United States.

Hong Kong will suspend flights from India, Pakistan and the Philippines from April 20 due to imported coronavirus infections, authorities said in a statement late on Sunday.

A slower rollout of vaccinations compared with other Group of Seven advanced countries and the lack of a sense of crisis among the public will trigger a new wave of infections, some companies wrote in Reuters monthly poll.

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