Oil set for 20% drop in 2020 as lockdowns weigh

Oil set for 20% drop in 2020 as lockdowns weigh
Global crude oil markets have lost a fifth of their value in 2020 as strict coronavirus lockdowns paralyzed much of the world economy, but prices have rebounded strongly from their lows as governments extended more stimulus.

On Thursday, the last trading day of 2020, Brent was trading down 18 cents, or 0.4%, at $51.45 a barrel, as of 0136 GMT and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) lost 0.1%, or 5 cents, to $48.35 a barrel.

Brent and WTI have over doubled from decade-lows seen in April. This puts past a year that marked the primary negative prices for WTI that shocked investors globally.

Asian Shares

The world expects Asian shares to finish a tumultuous 2020 by hovering near record highs on Thursday. In the meantime, riskier currencies cruised near 2-1/2-year peaks. They buoyed by hopes that COVID-19 vaccine rollouts will help the planet beat the pandemic.In the short-term, concerns over coronavirus lockdowns are likely to cap gains.A new variant of the virus within the UK has led to the reimposition of movement restrictions, hitting near-term demand, and weighing on prices. In the meantime, hospitalizations and infections have surged in parts of Europe and Africa.

On the provision front, U.S. energy firms in the week added 3 oil and gas rigs to the most effective quarter for reinforcing the rig count since the second quarter of 2017, in step with data from Baker Hughes.

A Jan. 4 meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, including Russia, a gaggle referred to as OPEC+, is about to spice up output by 500,000 barrels per day in January.

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