Crude oil prices remained low during Wednesday's trading as the novel coronavirus known as Covid-19 that emerged in China continues to spread worldwide while keeping pressure on global oil demand.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $54.18 per barrel at 0640 GMT for a 0.22% loss after closing the previous session at $54.30 a barrel with a 3.55% decline.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was trading at $49.95 a barrel at the same time for a 0.46% decline after ending Tuesday at $50.18 per barrel with a 2.43% loss.
The death toll in China from the coronavirus outbreak has increased to 2,717, 52 of whom died in the past 24 hours, according to the country’s National Health Commission on Wednesday.
As the death toll in Italy increased to 11, the coronavirus has spread to more than 30 other countries including the U.S., the U.K., France, Spain, Russia, Iran, Singapore and India.
On the supply side, crude oil inventories in the U.S. are estimated to have increased by 1.3 million barrels for the week ending Feb. 21, according to the country's American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday.
Low oil demand around the world and the rising glut of supply continues to keep a downward pressure on crude prices.
By Ovunc Kutlu