Oil falls as rising coronavirus cases prompt more restrictions
Oil prices dropped on Monday as rising global coronavirus cases prompted new lockdowns, including South California, the world’s top consumer.
Brent oil futures fell 0.4%, or 20 cents, at $49.05 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures slid 0.4%, or 20 cents, at $46.06 per barrel. Both contracts rose for a fifth straight week last week.
Also weighing on oil prices, U.S. energy firms also added oil and natural gas rigs for the 11th straight time in 12 weeks as producers ramp up production.
Meanwhile, Iran has ordered its oil ministry to prepare for output and sale of crude oil at full function in three months.
Still, fast demand recovery in China and positive news about COVID-19 vaccines put a lid on losses.