Oil Slumps as COVID19 Infections Surge

U.S. oil fell more than 2 on Friday as new lockdowns in Europe to halt surging infections of COVID19 sparked concern about the outlook for demand, while markets remained on edge over drawnout vote counting in the U.S. election.

West Texas Intermediate was down 1.06, or 2.7, at 37.73 a barrel at 0538 GMT, after dropping 0.9 on Thursday. Brent crude was off 1.05, or 2.6, at 39.88, having fallen 0.7 in the previous session.

Italy recorded its highest daily number of infections on Thursday and cases surged by at least 120,276 in the United States, the second consecutive daily record as the outbreak spreads across the country.

COVID19s rampage across Europe and the U.S. is likely to deliver a hit to consumption, said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.

With no concrete evidence that OPEC is moving to slow or reverse the pace of production increases, the supplydemand imbalance has capped oils preelection rally, he added.

The European Unions executive commission also cut its economic forecast and predicted the bloc wont see a rebound to previrus levels until 2023.

Vote counting and trends from the U.S. election point to the Republicans retaining control of the Senate, while Democrats are expected to take a slimmed majority in the House of Representatives, dashing hopes for a large stimulus package, another factor weighing on oil.

President Donald Trump, without providing evidence, late on Thursday said he would win the election if legal votes were counted,…

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