Oil prices drop further; sets to hit sharpest fall in four years

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SINGAPORE- Oil prices recorded six consecutive days of decline, its weakest weekly performance in more than four years. Such drop was heavily brought by the fast-paced spread of the novel coronavirus which sparked concerns that the possibility of pandemic may directly affect oil demand.

Investors grew wary that the continuous spread of the disease which originated in China would eventually become a pandemic as it is now spreading across larger zones. According to latest reports, the virus has spread to 46 countries.

The heavily traded Brent crude contract LCOc2 wiped out $1.37, equivalent to 2.7%, and last stood at $50.36 per barrel at exactly 0445 GMT. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 lost $1.33, equivalent to 2.8%, and recently quoted at $45.76 per barrel. U.S. crude dropped an estimated 14% this week, the sharpest fall since May 2011.

New cases of the novel coronavirus were monitored across the world and the ever increasing rate already surpassed cases in China, where the death toll is close to hitting 3000. 57 deaths were confirmed in other countries.

               

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