Oil prices fell about 1% decrease on Friday, posting to their steepest weekly losses in months, on worries that travel restrictions to curb the unfold of the Delta variant of COVID-19 will derail the global recovery in energy demand.
Crude futures additionally got here beneath strain because the greenback strengthened after month-to-month U.S. job development got here in larger than anticipated. A stronger greenback makes greenback-denominated oil costlier for patrons in different currencies.
Brent crude oil futures settled down 59 cents, or 0.8%, at $70.70, whereas U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 81, or 1.2%, to settle at $68.28 a barrel.
(Also learn | Oil drops for third day on considerations Covid-19 variant unfold to chop demand)
For the week, global benchmark Brent shed greater than 6%, its largest week of losses in 4 months, and WTI tumbled practically 7% in its greatest weekly decline in 9 months.
“The price action we see now is really a function of the macro picture,” mentioned Howie Lee, an economist at Singapore financial institution OCBC. “The Delta variant is now really starting to hit home and you see risk aversion in many markets, not just oil.”
U.S. President Joe Biden mentioned that COVID-19 instances within the United States, which have climbed to a six-month excessive, will go up earlier than they arrive down and that the new Delta variant is taking a useless toll on the nation.
Japan is poised to broaden emergency restrictions to extra areas of the nation, whereas China, the world’s second-largest oil shopper, has imposed curbs in some cities and canceled flights.
(Also learn | Oil prices rise on middle-east tensions; crude stock build caps positive factors)
“Increased travel restrictions in China have come under the microscope of traders and could become a key oil price mover as this month proceeds,” mentioned Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates LLC in Galena, Illinois.
U.S. oil rigs rose two to 387 this week, energy providers agency Baker Hughes Co mentioned. Growth within the rig depend has slowed in current months as drillers proceed to concentrate on capital self-discipline.
This story has been printed from a wire company feed with out modifications to the textual content. Only the headline has been modified.