Oil suffers as virus death rate increases, US stocks soar

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TOKYO- Oil prices sunk down on Thursday as the growing statistics of coronavirus victim reached 170 and more airlines canceled operations to China’s major cities. Market inactivity was dragged down further due to advancing US crude inventories.

Brent crude LCOc1 lost 35 cents, or equivalent to 0.6%, at $59.46 per barrel by 0225 GMT. Such followed after it positively performed with 0.5% gains on Wednesday. US crude CLc1 shed 30 cents, equivalent to 0.6%, at $53.03 per barrel with another 0.3% setback from previous trading session.

Though oil prices declined, they were steady in recent days after major retreat that put them to three-month lows. In line with this, investors are trying to take stock from the damage and its overall implication to economic growth, oil demands, and products.

The World health Organization’s Emergency Committee is to conduct another meeting on Thursday to assess whether the fast-paced contagion should be filed under global emergency.

Airlines from different parts of the world started flight suspension and implemented direct flight reduction to China’s major cities as travel warnings are issued by governments and passenger numbers declined.     

U.S. crude oil inventories surpassing gains expectations last week also meant “oil prices were dealt the cruelest hand of them all,” said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at AxiCorp.

Crude stocks increased by up to seven times of market outlook, advancing with 3.5 million barrels in the week to January 24, the US Energy Information Administration stated on Wednesday.

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