TOKYO- Oil prices underperformed on Friday as concerns regarding demand continue to disturb investors. Such inactivity followed after the coronavirus contagion encroached territories outside China while leading oil manufacturers launched to deeper output production to alleviate the market from harm.
Brent crude futures lost 24 cents, equivalent to 0.4%, and last stood at $59.07 per barrel by 0155 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate CLc1 shed 25 cents, or 0.5%, at $53.63.
South Korean authorities reported 52 new coronavirus diagnosis on Friday. Streets were deserted after confirmed cases of virus continued to bloat up as authorities put it as a “super-spreading” phenomenon.
In China alone, world’s largest crude oil consumer, new cases were also recorded on Friday even though intensive efforts were implemented to contain further spread of the virus. The continuous spread of the novel coronavirus which originated from Hubei Province of China put the second –largest economy to a slowdown.
“One risk is whether infections rise when people return to work on the mainland, as they are beginning to do though far from on a mass scale,” said Christopher Wood, strategist at Jefferies.