Oil prices slumped on Thursday to extend losses from the previous session on worries that fresh restrictions aimed at containing the coronavirus pandemic will hit oil demand.
Benchmark Brent crude fell nearly 4 percent to $38.11 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 3.9 percent at $35.95.
Both contracts plunged over 5 percent on Wednesday after data showed crude inventories in the U.S. rose for the first time in three weeks.
As coronavirus cases soar, some European governments including Germany and France are imposing drastic curbs on people’s daily lives.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday announced to begin a ‘lockdown light’ from November 2 to limit contact as much as possible and stem the rapid spread of virus.
France will go into a second national lockdown beginning at midnight tonight to counter a second wave of the virus.
The British government is under pressure to develop a national strategy to combat the virus surge and “rescue Christmas”.
The World Health Organization said for the second consecutive week, the European region accounted for the biggest proportion of new infections, with more than 1.3 million cases or about 46 percent of the worldwide total.
Rising Libyan oil production and the weakening of Zeta to a tropical storm also put pressure on oil prices.
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