Fears about rise in China’s COVID-19 cases force oil prices to decline


Wednesday saw a decline in oil prices as worries about increase in COVID-19 cases in China, the world’s largest oil importer, outweighed hopes that lifting pandemic restrictions would spark an economic recovery and increase fuel demand.

By 12:15 GMT, the price of Brent futures for February delivery was down 42 cents, or 0.5%, at $83.91 per barrel. To reach $79.21 per barrel, U.S. crude dropped 32 cents, or 0.4%.

After reaching their highest levels in three weeks on Tuesday on the anticipation of an increase in fuel demand, both benchmarks dropped by more than $1 per barrel earlier in the session.


On Tuesday, oil refiners in the US worked to reopen a dozen facilities that had been shut down by the country’s widespread freezing weather. In some cases, this recovery will take until January.