Oil extends last week's losses into Monday, falls almost 2%

Marco Green
October 26, 2020

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USA crude ended last week on a bearish note after Libya lifted force majeure on its Ras Lanuf and Es Sider ports, and the state oil company said output would surpass 1 million barrels a day in four weeks.

Oil prices fell on Monday, extending last week's losses, as increasing coronavirus cases in the United States and Europe raised worries about energy demand, while Libya's fast growing production also weighed on prices. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) dropped 92 cents, or 2.3%, to $38.93.

Brent fell 2.7% last week and WTI dropped 2.5%.

Several U.S. states reported record daily increases in infections on Thursday, while France extended curfews for about two thirds of its population as the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across Europe. Oil extended last week's losses on Monday, falling almost 2%.

"There is little in the way of support from the demand side in view of the extremely high number of new COVID-19 cases", said Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg.

The United Nations' acting Libya envoy, Stephanie Williams, said earlier on Friday that she expected operations at the ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, the largest still offline, to resume soon.

OPEC+, a group that includes Russian Federation and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), is due to increase production by 2 million bpd in January 2021 as part of a plan to pump more as demand recovers.

In the United States, energy companies increased their rig count by five to take the total to 287 in the week to October 23, the most since May, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co BKR.N said.

Still, investors increased their net long positions in U.S. crude futures and options during the week through October 20, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commision said on Friday.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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