Oil extends losses due to gloomy demand outlook

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Oil prices dropped for a sixth straight day on Friday, down almost 9% for the week. This came as a fresh wave of coronavirus cases across Europe prompted lockdowns and dampened hopes for fuel demand recovery. 

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 0.07%, or 4 cents, at $59.96 per barrel. Brent crude fell 0.16%, or 10 cents, at $63.18 per barrel. 

Prices rose in early Asian trade after dropping 7% on Thursday as physical buyers loaded up on cheap oil. 

However, the market remains worried about the oil demand outlook amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, new restrictions, and slow vaccination rollouts.

Analysts say that Iran's supply and EU demand would reduce the oil market rebalancing by 0.75 million bpd in the second quarter. 

Saudi crude exports rose for a seventh consecutive month in January to their highest since April 2020. Saudi oil shipments grew from 6.495 million bpd in December to 6.582 million bpd in January.

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