Oil falls on rising coronavirus cases, U.S.-China conflict

Oil falls on rising coronavirus cases, U.S.-China conflict

Oil prices fell on Monday as a surge in coronavirus cases and the escalating U.S.-China tensions prompted a safe-haven bid.

Brent crude slid 0.2%, or 8 cents, at $43.26 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.2%, or 7 cents, at $41.22 per barrel.

The decline in oil was also seen in other financial markets in Asian trade amid the rising tensions between the United States and China. This came after the closures of consulates in Houston and Chengdu.

Brent is on course for its fourth consecutive month of gains, while WTI is set to gain for the third straight month as the OPEC+ production cuts supported prices. 

Total COVID-19 cases surpassed 16 million on Monday. Meanwhile, investors are also watching the impact of the storm Hanna, which struck the coast of Texas over the weekend.

The U.S. oil rig count grew last week for the first time since March, a sign that U.S. oil output decline may have hit its lowest level.

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