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Oil falls as rising Covid cases set to slow demand

India’s coronavirus death toll now stands at nearly 180,000

Oil prices slipped on Monday as rising cases of Covid-19 emerged across the world, leading to measures to tackle the pandemic being reinstated.

The strong measures to curb the spread will have knock on effects on economic activity, including demand for oil.

Having risen by 6% over last week, Brent crude oil was down by 0.3% early this morning to $66.60 per barrel. While West Texas Intermediate (WTI), having gained 6.4% last week, was down by 0.2% to $63.03 a barrel.

“The progress of vaccination drives in the developed markets can be seen in road traffic levels, but resurging case numbers have reversed the recovery in the emerging countries,” such as India and Brazil, ANZ Research said in a report on Monday.

India confirmed a record increase in cases of Covid-19 on Monday of 273,810, bringing the total number of cases to over 15m. India is now the second worst affected country behind the US, which has in excess of 31m infections. India’s coronavirus death toll now stands at nearly 180,000.

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Hong Kong is supending flights from India, Pakistan and the Philippines from April 20, authorities have said.

In early March oil prices climbed to a 14-month high as Brent crude oil reached $67.85 per barrel today, its highest level since January 2020.

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