Oil prices flat as coronavirus threat drags


Oil prices were stable on Friday but are expected to sink lower with an estimated 5% loss for the week. Such was brought by emerging concern that fuel demand may weaken as the coronavirus that originated from Wuhan City of China that has resulted to death of 25, may impact travel and drag the economy.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 shed 4 cents lower to $62 per barrel by 0225 GMT, its lowest recorded performance since Dec. 4 with 1.9% decline from its recently concluded session.

US West Texas Intermediate futures inched down 2% on Thursday as the contract lost 1 cent to $55.58 per barrel, it weakest session since Nov. 29.

Novel coronavirus had inflicted 800 individuals and resulted to death of 25 as of Thursday, according to China’s National Health Commission. In line, the World Health Organization declared the epidemic as an emergency but did not put it as a global concern.

Many alleged that the virus originated from Wuhan City in China as this is where most cases were detected from. However, there were also recorded cases in at least seven countries.

US crude inventories and crude oil distillate inventories sunk down last week as increased in gasoline for 11 consecutive weeks were recorded, the Energy Information Administration said on Thursday.

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