Oil prices slip as COVID-19 resurgence deteriorates fuel demand

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Oil prices fell earlier on Thursday, continuing heavy losses from overnight as demand weakened with the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in North America and Europe.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell by 0.7% (27 cents), trading at $39.76 per barrel at 0127 GMT (9:27 PM ET), after it slumped by 4% on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures lost 0.5% (21 cents), to $41.52 a barrel after it fell by 3.3% on Wednesday.

U.S. gasoline inventories rose by 1.9 million barrels in the week to October 16, in contrast to expectations for a 1.8 million drop the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.

Overall product supply averaged at 18.3 million barrels per day in the four weeks, plummeting by 13% year on year.

With record spikes in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and in Europe, tightening lockdown measures and China's restrictions on outbound travel has weakened the demand for fuel.

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