SINGAPORE- Oil prices underperformed as investors await for Asian economic records that will state the implications of the 2019 novel coronavirus contagion on oil demand in China, world’s second-largest oil importer. The said data is set to be released this week.
Brent crude LCOc1 shed 33 cents, and last stood at $56.99 per barrel by 0121 GMT. The inactivity followed after the crude recorded a 5.2% increase last week, its largest weekly earnings so far since September 2019.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 swiped out 13 cents, with a value of $51.92 per barrel. The frail performance occurred after hitting a 3.4% increase last week.
The weekly gains, oil’s initial rise since January, were brought heavily by optimism that stimulus measures implemented by China to nurse the economy from coronavirus impact could also aid the oil slump. However, International Energy Agency (IEA) stated that the coronavirus will drag oil demand to an estimated decline of 435,000 barrels per day.
The said slump will affect the first quarter of 2020 in what would be the first-ever loss since the 2009 financial crisis. In line with this, analysts said that it is still too early to assess the longer-term implications of the novel coronavirus to the economy.