Oil prices dropped on Wednesday over sustained low demand caused by the second wave of the pandemic while market investors are now cautious due to uncertainty of a peaceful transition of power in the upcoming US election, which became evident in Monday’s long-awaited and chaotic debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat candidate Joe Biden.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $41.09 per barrel at 0611 GMT for a 1.13% decrease after closing Tuesday at $41.56 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $38.92 a barrel at the same time for a 0.94% drop after ending the previous session at $39.29 per barrel.
A second wave of the coronavirus pandemic and related fuel demand concerns continues to negatively impact oil prices. The number of deaths from the coronavirus is now over 1 million and the number of global cases totals above 33.6 million.
Late Wednesday, the American Petroleum Institute (API) announced its estimate of a fall of 831,000 barrels in US crude oil inventories relative to the market expectation of a 1.4 million-barrel rise.
If crude stocks fall in line with the API’s expectations, this would signal that crude demand is rebounding in the US, the world's largest oil consumer, to positively support prices and limit further declines.
By Sibel Morrow