Oil markets: Coronavirus in focus


A kayaker passes in front of an offshore oil platform in the Guanabara Bay in Niteroi, Brazil, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020.

Dado Galdieri | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Oil prices fell more than 1% in early trade on Thursday as a spike in new coronavirus cases in China and the United States renewed fears that people would stay home and stall a recovery in fuel demand even as lockdowns ease.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 1.6%, or 60 cents, at $37.36 a barrel at 0035 GMT, adding to a loss of 42 cents on Wednesday.

Brent crude futures fell 1.1%, or 45 cents, to $40.26 a barrel. The benchmark contract declined 25 cents on Wednesday.

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