MELBOURNE / SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Thursday amid fears that the US economic recovery is slowing due to the coronavirus, while a second wave of COVID-19 cases in Europe led to travel restrictions in a number of countries.
Futures for Brent crude oil fell 0.81% to $ 41.43 a barrel by 09:50 Moscow time, while WTI futures shed 0.93% to $ 39.56 a barrel.
Oil rose in price on Wednesday after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a 1.6 million barrels drop in US oil inventories in the week ended September 18 to 494.4 million barrels. [EIA / S]
However, then oil prices fell after the release of data from the financial company Markit, which showed that the PMI index, reflecting the activity in the service sector of the US economy, according to preliminary calculations, in September fell to 54.6 points from 55.0 points a month earlier.
“Oil prices are dropping as there is a lot of inventory left for immediate delivery,” said Jeffrey Halley of OANDA.
Meanwhile, there are concerns about the resumption of oil exports from Libya, as it is unclear how quickly the country will be able to increase production. Libyan National Oil Corp aims to increase production to 260,000 barrels per day by next week.
Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar on Thursday said he was waiting for an agreement with OPEC + that would increase Iraqi oil exports, the state news agency INA said Thursday.
(Sonali Paul and Kustav Samantha; Translated by Caleb Davis. Editor Anna Kozlova)