WTI Crude Oil Sees Slight Strengthening, But Virus Concerns Still in Focus
Arslan Butt • 1 min read
Early on Wednesday, WTI crude oil prices are trading slightly bullish but gains remain limited on account of the rising concerns about the coronavirus outbreak and its economic impact. At the time of writing, WTI crude oil is trading at around $52.51 per barrel.
Extended lockdown across factories and workplaces in several parts of China have reduced manufacturing and subsequently brought down the demand for crude oil in the world’s largest energy consumer, weakening oil prices lately. While the number of new cases being reported from Hubei declined for the second consecutive day, the death toll continues to rise and the WHO has cautioned that it is too soon to get optimistic about the possibility that the virus has been contained successfully.
Crude oil prices have gained back around 8% of their value over the past few days from the lowest levels seen so far in 2020 over hopes that OPEC will implement additional supply cuts. Any further weakness in oil demand could speed up OPEC+’s decision for further curbs in crude production to stem the decline in prices.