Oil prices fell on Monday over fears that the pace of economic and global oil demand recovery in many Asian countries would slow down due to the resurgence of coronavirus cases in the region.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $68.61 per barrel at 0727 GMT for a 0.14% decrease after closing Friday at $68.71 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $65.33 per barrel at the same time for a 0.04% decrease after it ended the previous session at $65.36 a barrel.
Oil price declines were mainly driven by blurred outlooks for economic and oil demand recovery in Asia-Pacific countries, including India, Japan and Taiwan, which have been plagued by slow progress on vaccinations to deal with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Taiwan and Singapore reported surging COVID-19 infections and India continues to reel under a deadly second wave.
According to the US-based Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, Bangladesh has reported 779,796 COVID-19 infections with 12,124 deaths. The country has so far fully vaccinated 3.65 million people, equivalent to 2.24% of its population.
Taiwan, one of the most successful countries at controlling COVID-19, imposed stringent social distancing measures for two weeks, as it reported more than 200 new cases in its first significant outbreak of the virus.
As infections continue to rise ahead of the Summer Olympics in Japan, tougher measures against the virus were implemented on Sunday in six prefectures.
Hokkaido, Okayama, and Hiroshima have joined Tokyo and five other prefectures in declaring a state of emergency until May 31, while partial emergency measures covering seven prefectures has been extended to include Gunma, Ishikawa, and Kumamoto until June 13.
Hokkaido, Okayama, and Hiroshima joined Tokyo and five other prefectures in declaring an emergency until May 31, while partial emergency measures affecting seven prefectures were extended to include Gunma, Ishikawa, and Kumamoto until June 13.
-Colonial Pipeline resumes oil flow following cyberattack
As the US’s largest oil pipeline network recovered from a devastating cyberattack, gasoline shortages on the East Coast began to ease on Sunday.
The almost 9,000-kilometer-long pipeline had been temporarily suspended in early May and began pumping oil again on Thursday. However, the disruption caused gasoline shortages that affected hundreds of gas stations around the country.
By Sibel Morrow