Webinar :Register now for Commodity Ki Paathshala webinar on ‘FPOs & Agriculture Marketing-The Beginning of a New Era’ on January 22, 4pm

Oil falls for fifth day as coronavirus spreads outside of China

Brent crude was down 77 cents, or 1.4% at $52.66 a barrel at 0204 GMT. The contract earlier fell to its lowest since Jan. 4, 2019. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures fell by 80 cents, or 1.6%, to $47.93 a barrel. The contract earlier fell to its lowest since Jan. 2, 2019.

February 27, 2020 / 08:37 AM IST
Representative Image

Representative Image

Oil prices fell for a fifth day on Thursday to their lowest since January 2019 as a growing number of new coronavirus cases outside of China deepened fears that the global economy will slow and lower crude demand.

Brent crude was down 77 cents, or 1.4% at $52.66 a barrel at 0204 GMT. The contract earlier fell to its lowest since Jan. 4, 2019. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures fell by 80 cents, or 1.6%, to $47.93 a barrel. The contract earlier fell to its lowest since Jan. 2, 2019.

Brent prices have dropped 11% in the past five trading sessions through Thursday, the biggest five-day percentage loss since August 2019. WTI has declined 10.8% over the same period, also the biggest five-day percentage drop since August 2019.

On Wednesday, the number of new coronavirus infections outside China exceeded the number reported in China, the source of the outbreak, for the first time ever. Italy and Iran are emerging as new epicentres of the rapidly spreading illness.

President Donald Trump assured Americans on Wednesday evening that the risk from coronavirus remained "very low". However, Asian share markets fell on Thursday morning, as investors fear the coronavirus spread will disrupt the global economy as quarantines and other measures to halt its advance slow trade and industry.

Close

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

View more
How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

View more
Show

"Speculations that coronavirus may spread in the United States prompted a series of fresh selling," said Kazuhiko Saito, chief analyst at Fujitomi Co.

If an outbreak "continues to worsen in the United States, oil prices will likely decline further, especially with U.S. gasoline prices already plunging," Saito said.

The U.S. government reported a drop in gasoline inventories last week, but U.S. gasoline prices have taken a dive since late last week due to concerns over slowing demand, Saito said.

Gasoline stockpiles dropped by 2.7 million barrels in the week to Feb. 21 to 256.4 million, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday, amid a decline in refinery throughput. Distillate inventories fell by 2.1 million barrels to 138.5 million.

U.S. crude oil stockpiles increased by 452,000 barrels to 443.3 million barrels, the EIA said, whic was less than the 2-million-barrel rise analysts had expected.

The crude market was also watching for possible deeper output cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies including Russia, a group known as OPEC+.

OPEC+ plans to meet in Vienna over March 5-6.
Reuters
first published: Feb 27, 2020 08:30 am

stay updated

Get Daily News on your Browser
Sections