Oil drops on renewed coronavirus worries as China cases rise
Oil prices dropped on Monday on rising worries about global fuel demand amid strict lockdowns in Europe and China.
Brent crude oil futures was down 0.8%, or 42 cents, at $55.67 per barrel after rising to $56.39 earlier, its highest level since the end-February 2020. Brent gained in the last four sessions.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate fell 0.4%, or 22 cents, at $52.02 per barrel. WTI hit its highest level in almost a year on Friday.
Most of Europe is under tight lockdowns, while Mainland China posted its highest daily COVID-19 cases in over five months as new infections in Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing, continued to climb.
Still, oil price losses were capped by hopes for U.S. President-elect Joe Biden to announce trillions of dollars in new coronavirus aid this week.
Crude prices remained boosted by Saudi’s pledge last week for a voluntary production cut of 1 million bpd in February and March, as part of OPEC’s deal to maintain output cuts amid new lockdowns.