Crude oil futures slipped to Rs 1,980 per barrel on March 18 as market participants decreased positions tracking overseas cues. Oil prices came under pressure as countries limiting economic activity and impose travel restrictions.
According to Abhishek Bansal, CMD, Abans Group, crude oil prices are expected to remain negative due to oversupply and low demand on account of the COVID-19 outbreak. "Lockdowns are taking place in many parts of prominent cities of the world. This is leading to fewer use of crude oil. A travel ban in many countries has halted the airlines' industry, and demand is looking to diminish further in the coming week."
In the futures market, crude oil for March delivery touched an intraday high of Rs 2,036 and an intraday low of Rs 1,907 per barrel on the MCX. So far in the current series, black gold has touched a low of Rs 1,907 and a high of Rs 4,604 per barrel.
Crude oil delivery for March declined Rs 187, or 8.93 percent, to Rs 1,908 per barrel at 16:00 hours IST. The same for April contracts was down Rs 187, or 8.93 percent to Rs 1,908 per barrel.
The value of March and April contracts traded so far is Rs 2,838.89 crore and Rs 473.73 crore, respectively.
West Texas Intermediate crude was down 5.56 percent to $25.80 per barrel, while Brent crude, the international benchmark, slipped 2.61 percent to $27.93 per barrel at 16:10 hours.
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