Oil prices were mixed on Friday although weekly losses have been extended by almost 5% over the rise in coronavirus cases and the approaching end of the summer driving season in the US and Europe which spurred demand fears.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $66.70 per barrel at 0644 GMT for a 0.37% increase after closing Thursday at $66.45 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at $63.77 a barrel at the same time with a 0.04% decrease after ending the previous session at $63.80 per barrel.
Starting the week trading above $70 per barrel, prices came under pressure with the global surge of the highly contagious Delta variant, fueling demand concerns.
While Japan extends its emergency lockdown, cases are rising in South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. South Korea on Thursday reported over 2,100 new coronavirus cases, the second-highest daily spike since the coronavirus outbreak in the Asian country last year.
Thailand also registered a record number of daily coronavirus fatalities Wednesday as 312 people died over the past 24 hours, taking the country’s death toll to 8,285.
Australia reported record COVID-19 cases while New Zealand also extended their COVID-19 lockdown for the next four days after the country reported 11 new infections.
In Germany, health authorities reported 8,400 new cases on Thursday, the second straight day that new infections surpassed the 8,000 mark.
The approaching end of the summer driving season in the US and Europe is also another factor that is exerting pressure on oil prices.
By Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu