Oil prices down as US stocks fall less than expected

During Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee meeting, OPEC warns against demand risks due to rising coronavirus cases

Sibel Morrow   | 20.08.2020
Oil prices down as US stocks fall less than expected


Brent crude oil prices were down Thursday, as major oil producers warned against a prolonged economic recovery and stifled demand while the US oil stocks decreased less than market expectations.

International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $44.99 per barrel at 0613GMT for a 0.8% decrease after closing Thursday at $45.37 a barrel.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $42.69 per barrel at the same time, down 0.97% after ending the previous session at $43.11 a barrel.

According to data released by the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) Thursday, commercial crude oil inventories in the US fell by 1.6 million barrels, or 0.3%, to 512.5 million barrels for the week ending Aug. 14.

The market expectation was a decrease of 2.7 million barrels.

During the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) meeting in July, OPEC and non-OPEC oil-producing nations, known as OPEC+, warned against “the fragility of the market and large uncertainties, particularly associated with oil demand.”

COVID-19 continues to spread all over the world, exerting pressure on prices, as investors prepare for a decline in demand.

The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide is now over 22 million, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

As the US leads the number of cases with over 5.5 million as of Thursday morning, Brazil has over 3.4 million, and India follows with more than 2.8 million cases.

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