On Thursday, oil futures eased, giving up some gains from the previous day as the increase in coronavirus cases and tighter economic constraints around the world stoked concerns about slower demand for gasoline.
After rising 1.4% on the previous day, Brent crude futures LCOc1 shed 17 cents, or 0.4%, to $44.17 a barrel by 0345 GMT. US. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 decreased to $41.53 a barrel by 29 cents, or 0.7%, having risen by almost 1% on Wednesday.
As New York City’s public school system, the nation’s largest, called a stop to in-classroom teaching, citing a spike in coronavirus infection rates, the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 reached a grim new record of 250,000 lives lost on Wednesday.
Daily cases of coronavirus reached fresh highs in Tokyo and South Korea, as pollution-cloaked New Delhi struggled with rising cases and a highly infectious virus strain was confirmed by Australia that forced a state-wide lockdown.
Upbeat news from Pfizer PFE.N and BioNTech 22UAy.DE requesting U.S. and European authorization for their COVID-19 vaccines next month was overshadowed by concerns about coronavirus-related economic harm.
Satoru Yoshida, a Rakuten Securities commodity analyst said, “In the midst of increasing concerns about the rising pandemic, weaker global equities have also reinforced concerns about declining consumption and fuel demand.”
Asian shares eased on Thursday from all-time highs as expanding restrictions on COVID-19 in the United States weighed on Wall Street.