TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil prices accelerated their decline to nearly 3% on Friday after US President Donald Trump announced he had contracted the coronavirus while prospects for a stimulus deal in the US remained weak.
Futures for Brent crude oil fell 2.86% to $ 39.77 per barrel by 09:32 Moscow time, for WTI – decreased 2.84% to $ 37.62 per barrel.
US President Donald Trump tweeted about Friday that he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for coronavirus.
“Oil is reactive to the COVID headlines because they only reinforce the impression that anyone, even the commander-in-chief, can be infected,” said Stephen Innes of think tank AXI. The news of Trump's coronavirus makes it more likely that his opponent Joe Biden will win the November 3 election, Innes added.
Oil began its decline on Friday even before the news of the coronavirus from the US president, after again failed to reach an agreement between Democrats and Republicans on incentives. The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved a $ 2.2 trillion Democratic stimulus plan to tackle the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, but prospects for Senate approval are slim.
OPEC oil production surged in September for the third straight month as the resumption of some drilling rigs in Libya and the rise in exports from Iran offset other OPEC members' commitment to cut supplies.
(Aaron Sheldrick, translated by Elizaveta Zhuravleva. Editor Anna Kozlova)