Oil prices mixed as virus surge drags U.S. demand
Brent crude advanced on tighter supplies while U.S. benchmark WTI futures fell on concern that an increase in novel coronavirus cases could cap oil demand in the United States. This projected a mixed market view on Monday.
Brent crude LCOc1 jumped 18%, or 0.4%, to $42.98 per barrel by 0252 GMT. This followed after it recorded a 4.3% gain last week. Meanwhile, U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude declined 0.6% from its previous standing on Thursday.
The implied volatility for Brent crude has declined to its sharpest level since prices began collapsing in March. This was mainly from a dampened market mood brought by tightening supplies as production by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reached its lowest in decades.
Amid increasing cases in 39 U.S. states, a Reuters report showed that in the first four days of July alone, 15 states reported record spikes in new infections. This could be attributed to parties being celebrated over the holiday weekend.