Oil prices mixed in tight range, Asia’s coronavirus restrictions weigh on sentiment

Drilling for oil in Weld County on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (CPR News photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices rose on Monday after the recovery of a major U.S. pipeline network eased concerns over supply, though fresh restrictions in Asia amid surging coronavirus cases weighed on sentiment.

Brent crude oil futures dropped 16 cents to $68.55 a barrel as of 0626, and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 6 cents at $65.31.

The two benchmarks jumped nearly 2.5% on Friday and managed to book a small gain last week, marking a third consecutive weekly increase.

“The market has no clear direction today though a new wave of restrictions to curb the pandemic in Asia is chilling the market mood,” Reuters quoted a commodity analyst with Rakutan Securities Satoru Yoshida as saying.

Investors, however, remained cautious on worries that the highly transmissible coronavirus variant first detected in India is spreading to other countries, Reuters reported.

Some Indian states said on Sunday that they would extend lockdowns to help contain the pandemic, which has killed more than 270,000 in the country.

Disappointing retail data from China also added to pressure, Yoshida told Reuters. Chinese retail sales rose 17.7% in April on a year ago, short of forecasts for a jump of 24.8%.

China’s crude oil throughout rose 7.5% in April from the same month a year ago, but remained off the peak seen in the last quarter of 2020.

“With growing concerns over the spreading pandemic in Asia, Brent prices are expected to stay in a trading range this week, with support expected at around $63 a barrel,” said Kazuhiko Saito, chief analyst at commodities broker Fujitomi Co.

Previous Article

Blinken discusses Gaza in calls with Qatari, Egyptian, Saudi foreign ministers

Next Article

U.N. chief says Israel, Gaza fighting ‘utterly appalling’

Related Posts