Oil falls as rising COVID-19 cases stoke demand concerns
Oil prices fell on Monday as a surge in coronavirus cases in India and other countries prompted worries that stricter measures to curb the pandemic will impact economic activity, along with crude demand.
Brent crude futures dropped 0.3%, or 23 cents, at $66.54 per barrel, following a 6% gain last week. U.S. oil lost 0.2%, or 27 cents, at $62.96 per barrel after climbing 6.4% last week.
India posted a record rise of 273,810 COVID-19 infections on Monday, bringing overall cases to just above 15 million. India is the second-worst country affected by the coronavirus pandemic after the United States.
Hong Kong will suspend flights from India, the Philippines, and Pakistan from April 20 due to imported COVID-19 infections.
Japanese companies believe the world’s third-largest economy will suffer a fourth wave of infections, with many bracing for another impact on business.
Meanwhile, U.S. oil companies added oil and natural gas rigs for a fifth straight week for the first time since February. This came as higher oil prices encouraged drillers to resume operations.