By Barani Krishnan
Investing.com – Oil posted a fifth straight week of losses amid fear of more demand destruction as U.S. cities and businesses braced for a greater shutdown after America eclipsed China as the nation with the largest number of coronavirus infections.
Adding to the oil market’s woes, the International Energy Agency warned that global demand for crude could fall by a whopping 20 million barrels per day.
“This virus hit energy first, and now you have the IEA warning,” said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
“The massive drop in demand has even complicated the Saudi plan to flood the market as buyers of Saudi crude are reportedly looking to cancel oil delay shipments,” he said, referring to the kingdom’s ill-timed production-and-price war with Russian and U.S. shale crude producers.
, the New York-traded benchmark for U.S. crude prices, settled down $ 1.09, or 4.8%, at $ 21.51 per barrel.
London-traded settled down $ 1.41, or 5.4%, at $ 24.93.
For the week, WTI was down 4.1% while Brent slid 7.6%. For all of March so far, both benchmarks have lost more than 50% — heading for their worst month on record.
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