Oil prices hit 14-month low with coronavirus fears

Brent oil price hits lowest level since Dec. 28, 2018

Crude oil prices fell to their lowest levels in 14 months on Thursday as coronavirus fears continue to breed low global oil demand and a downward pressure on prices.

Brent crude was trading at $51.91 per barrel at 0655 GMT on Thursday for a 1.74% daily loss after closing Wednesday at $52.83 a barrel with a 3.86% dip.

The international benchmark hit as low as $51.88 per barrel earlier Thursday to mark its lowest level since Dec. 28, 2018, according to official data.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was trading at $47.90 a barrel at the same time on Thursday for a 1.05% loss after ending the previous day at $48.41 per barrel with a 2.99% decline.

WTI fell as much as $47.83 per barrel earlier Thursday — its lowest level since Jan. 04, 2019, according to the data.

The death toll in China from the coronavirus outbreak has increased to 2,746, while 29 people have died in the past 24 hours, according to the country’s National Health Commission on Thursday.

The death toll in Italy, the worst-hit European country, rose to 12 as of Wednesday with the number of COVID-19 cases climbing to 400.

While France has reported two deaths from the coronavirus and 18 new cases, landlocked Austria, which borders Italy to the south, has also confirmed two cases of the virus and has quarantined a dozen people.

OPEC and its allies, dubbed as OPEC+, are scheduled to meet in the Austrian capital Vienna on March 5-6 to discuss the impact of coronavirus on crude prices and low global oil demand.

A joint technical committee of OPEC+ advised on Feb. 8 extending the group’s current production cut until the end of 2020 that is set to expire on June 30.

While the group has already trimmed its total output by 1.7 million barrels per day (bpd) so far, it is expected to further cut its production by an additional 600,000 bpd.

Anadolu Agency

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