TOKYO- Oil prices fell on Monday, extending last week’s losses, as a jump in COVID-19 infections in the United States and Europe raised alarms over crude demand, while the prospect of increased supply also hurt sentiment.
Brent crude was down by 53 cents, or 1.3 percent, at $41.24. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) dropped 53 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $39.32, having fallen more than a dollar shortly after the start of trading.
Brent fell 2.7 percent last week and WTI dropped 2.5 percent.
The United States reported its highest number yet of new coronavirus infections in two days through Saturday, while in France new cases hit a record of more than 50,000 on Sunday, underlining the severity of the outbreak.
On the supply side, Libya’s National Oil Corp on Friday ended its force majeure on exports from two key ports and said production would reach 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in four weeks, a quicker ramp-up than many analysts had predicted.
OPEC+, a grouping of producers including the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia, is also set to increase output by 2 million bpd in January 2021 after cutting production by a record amount earlier this year.