Oil prices fell on Friday and were set for a weekly decline due to mounting worries about the impact on fuel demand of a widespread resurgence in coronavirus infections, as well as some concern about the likely return of exports from Libya.
Brent crude was down 32 cents at $41.62 a barrel by 1325 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 41 cents to $39.90.
“Rising virus infections, renewed lockdowns, slowing economic recovery and stalled US stimulus talks have put the brakes on the fragile revival in fuel demand.”
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In the United States, which has the highest death toll from the coronavirus pandemic and is the world’s biggest oil consumer, unemployment claims unexpectedly rose last week suggesting an economic recovery is flailing and pushing down fuel demand.
US fuel demand remains in the doldrums as the pandemic constrains travel. The four-week average of gasoline demand last week was 9 percent below a year earlier, government data showed on Wednesday.