Picture used for illustrative purpose. File
Oil prices slipped on Friday and were set for a weekly decline due to mounting worries about the impact on fuel demand of a widespread resurgence in coronavirus infections, as well as some concern about the likely return of exports from Libya.
Brent crude was down 4 cents at $41.90 a barrel by 0635 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dropped 8 cents to $40.23.
Brent is heading for a drop of nearly 3% this week with US crude on track for a decline of around 2%. Both benchmarks are also heading for a monthly decline, which would be the first for Brent in six months.
"The outlook for oil demand remains challenging as prospects of new mobility restrictions continue to rise," ANZ Research said in a note.
In the United States, which has the highest death toll from the coronavirus pandemic and is the world's biggest oil consumer, unemployment claims unexpectedly rose last week suggesting an economic recovery is flailing and pushing down fuel demand.
US fuel demand remains in the doldrums as the pandemic constrains travel. The four-week average of gasoline demand last week was 9% below a year earlier, government data showed on Wednesday.
In other parts of the world, daily increases of coronavirus infections are hitting records and new restrictions are being put in place that will likely limit travel and fuel demand.
In India, throughput by crude oil refiners in August fell 26.4% from a year ago, the most in four months, as fuel demand ebbed because surging coronavirus cases hindered industrial and transport activity.
The profit from producing fuels from benchmark Dubai crude at a refinery in Singapore was 26 cents a barrel on Thursday, down from $8.03 a year earlier.
In Libya, an oil tanker was loading a cargo on Thursday from one of three Libyan terminals that were reopened in recent days and more cargoes are expected to be lifted in the coming days.
However, analysts have questioned how quickly the country could ramp up supply.
"Fundamentally, nothing has changed to the supply side of the equation that is weighing on oil prices in the bigger picture," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.
Brent crude futures fell 33 cents, or 0.8%, at $41.39 a barrel by 0641 GMT, and earlier fell by as much as 1.2% to $40.21. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures dropped 40 cents, or 1%, to $39.40 a barrel after earlier declining by as much as 1.4% to $39.26.
Brent crude futures fell 67 cents, or 1.6%, to $41.55 a barrel at 0628 GMT, after climbing 4.2% on Wednesday. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 70 cents, or 1.7%, to $39.46 a barrel, after jumping 4.9% on Wednesday.
Brent crude was up 36 cents, or 0.8%, at $43.57 a barrel by 0651 GMT, while US oil futures gained 33 cents, or 0.6%, to $41.30 a barrel.
Global shares rattled on Monday as surging coronavirus cases in Europe and the United States clouded the global economic outlook, while China’s leaders meet to plan the country’s economic future.
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance and President of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), on Monday virtually inaugurated the Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) and the Dubai Solar Show 2020.
The Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI) Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, underlined the Chamber’s commitment to communicating with the local business community through the sectoral business groups,
Investcorp, a Bahrain-based asset manager which counts Mubadala Investment Company as its biggest shareholder, on Monday announced that it has acquired 32 industrial properties totaling approximately 3.5 million square feet