Oil prices declined today in light of renewed concerns about a shortage of global demand for fuel, amid the re-imposition of strict lockdown measures as coronavirus cases rise across Europe and the Middle East.
Brent crude futures fell by 1.4 per cent to reach $55.21 a barrel at 07:58 GMT, after previously declining by a dollar to reach $54.99 at its lowest.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell one per cent to reach $51.72 a barrel, after rising to its highest rates in nearly a year on Friday.
Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist, said yesterday: "COVID-19 hot spots flaring again in Asia, with 11 million people locked down in China's Hebei province… along with the ambiguity surrounding the (US) Federal Reserve System's policy, which resulted in some profit making operations this morning."
Edward Maya, senior market analyst at OANDA Company, stated: "Brent sales declined in the market after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman talked about Saudi Arabia's future beyond oil, and Iraq's decision to raise the price of its crude sales to Asia in February."
The Saudi crown prince recently unveiled plans to build a zero-carbon city in the NEOM megacity, to be the first major project implemented in the $500 billion business district, with the aim of diversifying the kingdom's oil-dependent economy.