Oil prices slip as clouds gather over fuel demand, looser supply curbs

Oil prices slip as clouds gather over fuel demand, looser supply curbs

Oil prices edged lower on Friday, with trading marked by growing uncertainty about global recovery in fuel demand as new COVID-19 cases surge in several countries just as major producers get set to loosen production curbs.

Brent crude futures fell 11 cents, or 0.3%, to $43.26 a barrel by 0610 GMT, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dropped 4 cents, or 0.1%, to $40.71, Reuters reported.

On Thursday, the United States reported at least 75,000 new COVID-19 cases, a daily record. Spain and Australia reported their steepest daily jumps in more than two months, cases continued to soar in India and Brazil stepped up lockdown measures.

Surges in coronavirus infections are slowing a recovery in fuel use after the easing of lockdowns in the United States and other countries, raising concern it could be years before consumption rebounds from the impact of the pandemic.

The two benchmark contracts fell 1% on Thursday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, together known as OPEC+, agreed to trim record supply cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) imposed earlier this year by 2 million bpd starting in August.

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