Oil Extend Losses as Gloom Grows over Soaring COVID19 Cases

Oil prices fell on Tuesday, adding to losses from the previous session that came as California tightened its pandemic lockdown through Christmas and coronavirus cases continued to surge in the United States and Europe.

Brent crude futures fell 51 cents, or 1.1, to 48.28 a barrel by 0744 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate WTI crude futures fell 45 cents or 1, to 45.31 a barrel. Both benchmark contracts lost around 1 on Monday.

Globally, a sharp rise in coronavirus cases has led to a string of renewed lockdowns, including strict measures in the U.S. state of California as well as Germany and South Korea.

The pandemic situation is continuing to be very disruptive in quite a few places in the U.S. and parts of Europe. Thats impacting sentiment on demand near term, said Lachlan Shaw, National Australia Banks head of commodity research.

California on Monday required most of the state to close shop and stay at home under a new order which will last at least three weeks.

California, one of the U.S. largest road fuel demand states, will be in lockdown lite through what is bound to be a Christmas lite for the oil markets, said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at Axi.

Government sources in France said the country may have to delay unwinding some lockdown restrictions next week after signs the downward trend in new cases had flattened out after shops were allowed to reopen late last month.

Following last weeks rally in oil prices on the back of vaccine rollout…

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