Oil prices have dropped on Thursday, and the increase in coronavirus infections worldwide raises concerns that it may jeopardize recovery in demand.
The most-active Brent crude contract for October fell 2 cents, or 0.05%, to $44.07 a barrel at 05:55 GMT. The September Brent contract, which is expiring on Friday, fell 7 cents to $43.68 in light trading.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 5 cents at $41.22 a barrel.
Both contracts rose on Wednesday after the largest one-week drop in raw stocks announced since December.
The oil markets are under high risk of economic downturn due to the pandemic in the United States and elsewhere which are having the risk of COVID-19.
US gasoline and distilled inventories, including diesel and heating fuel, have risen despite expectations that they will fall, and the imbalanced demand recovery in the world’s largest oil consumer continues.
The decrease in the number of people going to work causes lack of consumption and the increase in unemployment does not allow the demand for distilled products to recover in the near future.
Prices have anchored on Thursday due to demand concerns, which resulted in the re-emergence of crash concerns with the rise of COVID-19 infections.
Deaths of COVID-19 exceeded 150,000 in the U.S. on Wednesday, with Brazil became who confirms the worst figures in the world. New infections in Australia set a record on Thursday.
Looking at the global demand recovery potential, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies known as OPEC + are expected to increase production in August and add about 1.5 million barrels per day for global supply.