Oil prices down as virus cases temper demand in India
Investors to focus on Wednesday's OPEC+ meeting, where oil majors will discuss previous incremental output increases in May
Oil prices were down on Monday from the record number of daily coronavirus cases in India, crashing fuel demand in the world’s third-largest oil importer.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $64.69 per barrel at 0654 GMT for a 1.11% decrease after closing Friday at $65.42 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $61.47 per barrel at the same time for a 1.07% drop after it ended the previous session at $62.14 a barrel.
Surging coronavirus cases in India are the main driver for oil price declines by curtailing optimism over an oil demand rebound in the country.
India has registered an exponential increase in daily coronavirus cases to over 300,000 since Thursday last week. This has led to a shortage of oxygen in hospitals and has brought the country’s health system to the verge of collapse.
Recording another global record on Monday, the country registered 352,991 new infections, according to the country’s Health Ministry.
The country's total caseload rose to over 17.3 million while the death toll stands at 195,123, including a record 2,812 new fatalities, a tally from Johns Hopkins University shows.
The worst-hit area is the capital New Delhi, where the government announced a lockdown extension for another week.
Facing tough questions over its management of the pandemic, the government has now taken more steps to tackle the second deadly wave, pressing railways, the air force and the navy to transport oxygen across the country.
The markets are also awaiting the next OPEC+ meeting on Wednesday when the world’s major oil producers will discuss their production level as of May.
The group decided in their previous meeting at the beginning of April to increase production by 2.1 million barrels per day (bpd) up to the end of July, incrementally easing the current production cut of 7.9 million bpd.