Oil Prices Fall On Covid-19 Worries

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Oil prices fell on Monday as rising Covid-19 cases prompted more lockdowns around the world, threatening a global economic recovery.

Benchmark Brent crude dropped 0.7 percent to $48.89 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate oil futures were down nearly 1 percent at $45.83. Both benchmarks gained for a fifth consecutive week last week.

California entered another wide-sweeping lockdown as the U.S. notched a record number of coronavirus cases in 24 hours for the third day running.

Hard-hit Los Angeles County reached another alarming milestone in the coronavirus surge, surpassing 10,000 new daily cases.

The number of nationwide cases continued to spike in Japan, though the overall figures remain significantly lower than many other global regions.

A significant rise in the case trajectory prompted the South Korean government to raise the coronavirus alert to the second-highest level in Seoul.

The southern German region of Bavaria is tightening its lockdown regime after announcing a “disaster situation.”

Rising U.S.-China tensions and reports suggesting that Iran is preparing to raise oil exports also weighed on the commodity.

Reuters reported that the United States is preparing to impose sanctions on at least a dozen Chinese officials over their alleged role in Beijing’s disqualification of elected opposition legislators in Hong Kong.

Iran has instructed its oil ministry to prepare installations for production and sale of crude oil at full capacity within three months, state media said.

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