Oil prices were down on Friday as concern over the possibility of a second coronavirus (COVID-19) wave in the US is causing a major stock market sell-off and a weak oil consumption outlook.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $37.91 per barrel at 0610 GMT for a 1.6% decline after closing Thursday at $38.55 a barrel for a 7.6% daily loss.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $35.56 a barrel at the same time for a 2.1% decrease after ending the previous day at $36.34 per barrel with an 8.2% daily fall.
The US, the worst coronavirus-hit country, has passed the 2 million mark of cases as of Thursday, according to Maryland-based Johns Hopkins University. It has seen nearly 113,000 fatalities with over 533,500 recoveries as of June 11.
A peak in new coronavirus cases has been seen in many parts of the country. The state of Texas reported Wednesday the highest single-day tally of infections during the outbreak with 2,504 cases.
While Florida recorded 8,553 cases this week, hospitalizations in California severely increased since May 13.
Fears of a second-wave caused a meltdown in retail and airline stocks in US markets on Thursday, as indexes plummeted by more than 5% with the Dow Jones falling the most by 6.9%.
The possibility of a second COVID-19 wave weakens the outlook of oil consumption in the US and global oil demand for the second half of 2020, which, in turn, is creating major downward pressure on crude prices.
By Ovunc Kutlu