Oil Holds Steady In Cautious Trade

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Oil inched higher on Friday, but remained on track for a weekly fall on concerns about the global resurgence of coronavirus infections and its effects on fuel demand.

Benchmark Brent crude edged up 11 cents, or 0.25 percent, to $42.05 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 5 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $40.36.

Brent is on track for a 3 percent loss this week, while U.S. crude is heading for a drop of nearly 2 percent on growth worries and amid expectations that the prospect of the return of Libyan barrels to the market will add to supply.

U.S. coronavirus cases topped 7 million, accounting for more than 20 percent of the world’s total. In Europe, health officials warned of the risk of a potentially lethal “twindemic of Covid-19 and the flu.”

Authorities have warned of tougher times in Spain as the country’s cumulative tally of confirmed coronavirus infections passed 700,000 on Thursday.

The U.K. reported the highest number of new coronavirus cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic.

France also reported a record number of Covid-19 cases, a day after the government announced new restrictions on bars and restaurants in major cities.

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