Oil Dips In Choppy Trade

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Oil prices fell slightly in choppy trade on Tuesday as investors kept a close watch on rising coronavirus cases, U.S. stimulus talks and a two-day policy meeting of the Federal Reserve starting later in the day.

Benchmark Brent crude edged down marginally to $43.88 a barrel, giving up early gains. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 19 cents, or half a percent, at $41.41 a barrel.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to accelerate, raising concerns about the global economic outlook.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), global Covid-19 cases had doubled over the past six weeks.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he would resume the Emergency Committee on Thursday to re-evaluate the Covid-19 pandemic.

U.S. Senate Republicans on Monday proposed a $1 trillion coronavirus aid package that slashes unemployment benefits from the current $600 per week to $200, generating swift backlash from Democrats.

The proposal extends the paycheck protection program, which is scheduled to expire on August 8.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged Democrats to compromise with Republicans on the plan, as unemployment benefits will expire at the end of this week.

The U.S. Federal Reserve kicks off its two-day meeting later in the day, although no change in policy is expected.

Investors will focus on a press conference by Chairman Jerome Powell for more indications about the policy outlook.


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