Oil Prices Slip On Demand Worries

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Oil prices slipped in cautious trade on Tuesday as rising Covid-19 cases in Europe and North America raised fears over weaker fuel demand. Meanwhile, growing Libyan output added to oversupply concerns.

Benchmark Brent crude slipped 14 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $42.48 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 8 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $40.98.

The tally of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide passed 40 million on Monday, with more than 1.1 million deaths.

All governments should focus on the fundamentals that help to break the chains of transmission and save both lives and livelihoods, the World Health Organization (WHO) said as the spread of the pandemic sparked various degrees of lockdown measures.

Parts of the U.K. and Spain went into lockdown while France is imposing curfews after seeing a massive increase in the number of people hospitalized.

Ireland announced some of Europe’s strictest constraints, telling people not to travel more than five kilometers from home in a bid to combat a rise in infections.

New restrictions were also approved in Italy’s northern Lombardy region.

As concerns grow over soaring coronavirus cases, OPEC said on Monday it would adapt to changing circumstances should the need arise.

For now, OPEC and its allies plan to further scale back production on January 1 from 7.7 million bpd to 5.8 million bpd.

OPEC member Libya, which is exempt from the cuts, is rapidly ramping up production after armed conflict shut almost all of the country’s output in January.

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