Oil edges lower as COVID-19 restrictions in Asia fuel demand concerns

oil covid asia demand concerns
Middle East

Oil edges lower as COVID-19 restrictions in Asia fuel demand concerns

TOKYO: Oil prices edged lower on Monday as the recovery of a major U.S. pipeline network eased concerns over supply and a new wave of COVID-19 restrictions in Asia fuelled fears of lower demand. Gasoline shortages that have plagued the U.S. East Coast slowly eased on Sunday, with 1,000 more stations receiving supplies as Colonial Pipeline's 5,500-mile (8,900-km) system recovered from a crippling cyberattack. Brent crude oil futures were down 8 cents, or 0.1%, at $68.63 a barrel as of 0036 GMT, and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 7 cents, or 0.1%, at $65.30. The two contracts jumped nearly 2.5% on Friday and managed to book a small gain last week, marking a third consecutive weekly increase. "Oil prices are under pressure as a spike in the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading from India to other parts of Asia, which increased concerns over slower recovery in fuel demand," said Kazuhiko Saito, chief analyst at commodities broker Fujitomi Co. "We expect Brent prices to stay in a trading range this week, with support expected at around $63 a barrel," he said. Investors remained cautious on worries that the highly transmissible coronavirus variant first detected in India is spreading to other

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