Crude Oil Futures Settle Lower On Concerns About Energy Demand

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Crude oil prices edged lower on Friday, weighed down by concerns about outlook for near-term energy demand due to the relentless surge in new coronavirus cases in many states in America and in several other countries across the globe.

However, the recent data showing a significant drop in crude inventories in the U.S., and the OPEC’s decision to ease production curbs from August limited oil’s slide.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended down $0.16 or about 0.4% at $40.59 a barrel, well off the session’s low of $40.02.

Brent crude futures declined $0.24 to $43.13 a barrel today.

On Thursday, the OPEC and its allies agreed to trim crude supply cuts to 7.7 million barrels per day from August, instead of the 9.7 million barrels per day reduction they were resorting to since May.

A report released by Baker Hughes today showed the US drilling rig count fell 5 units, reaching 253 rigs working for the week ended July 17. The count is down 701 units from the 954 rigs working this time a year ago.

The number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil dropped by 1 to 180 this week, falling for an 18th straight week.

Meanwhile, in virus news, daily coronavirus cases in the United States broke record for the third consecutive day, with the number of infections crossing 70000 for the first time. As per Johns Hopkins University’s latest data, total infections in the country reached 35,76,430 after reporting nearly 77000 additional cases in the last 24 hours.

A surge of coronavirus cases in Florida, South Carolina and Texas led these states to report their highest one-day spikes.

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