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Gulf Today Report
Oil prices dropped on Wednesday due to concerns of COVID-19 cases in India will reduce fuel demand in the world’s third-biggest oil importer.
Brent crude futures for June declined 29 cents, or 0.4%, to $66.28 a barrel at 06:45 GMT while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for June fell 34 cents, or 0.5%, to $62.33 a barrel.
Ravindra Rao, vice president for commodities at Kotak Securities said, "India is a major crude oil consumer. So rising virus cases and thereby restrictions to limit the spread will dampen the demand outlook."
On Wednesday, India recorded a daily COVI-19 death toll of 2, 023 and cases of more than 295,000.
The surge in cases has forced various parts of the country under lockdown.
"You've seen refiners there (in India) scale back runs because demand has fallen with the spread of lockdowns. That's clearly weighing on the market and sentiment," said Lachlan Shaw, head of commodity research at National Australia Bank.
Meanwhile, crude stocks rose by 436,000 barrels, American Petroleum Institute reported, according to the sources.
Brent crude was down 33 cents, or 0.8%, at $42.82 a barrel by 0645 GMT, while US crude was down 38 cents, or 0.9%, to $40.73 a barrel.
Brent crude for November delivery dropped 40 cents, or 1%, to $40.63 per barrel by 06:35 GMT. West Texas Intermediate fell 32 cents, or 0.8%, to $38.97.
Brent crude futures added 61 cents, or 1%, to $64.68 a barrel, as of 04:28 GMT while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 28 cents or 0.5% to $61.56 a barrel.
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