Oil prices drop slightly on Monday, with a strengthening dollar. Fears of rising COVID-19 cases worldwide and the slow pace of vaccination against coronavirus outweighed a better-than-expected recovery in the Chinese economy.
Brent crude was down 23 cents, or 0.4%, at $54.87 per barrel at 1720 GMT, and West Texas Intermediate U.S. crude fell 19 cents, or 0.4%, to $52.17.
Corona-fueled economic fears, security concerns ahead of the US presidency opening, stronger US dollar and more pessimistic investor sentiment play a role in the fact that Brent has traded about $ 3 lower since last Wednesday.
Brent and WTI were revived in recent weeks with the spread of COVID-19 vaccines and Saudi Arabia’s surprise cut in production. But the slow pace of vaccination has raised doubts about how quickly economies can recover. Vaccination campaigns are lagging behind the pace required to see a global rebound and oil demand return in the first quarter.
Oil is often priced in dollars, so a stronger dollar makes crude oil more expensive for buyers with other currencies. The US dollar strengthened for the third consecutive day on Monday, hitting the highest in four weeks, suppressing crude oil prices.
Oil prices, supported by the decline in Libya’s oil production, regained some of the losses after the world’s largest oil importer, China’s economy showed speed in recovery from the epidemic.