Tuesday, December 1, 2020
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Oil selloff pauses, but outlook shaky on surging coronavirus cases, supply woes


Oil prices regained a semblance of stability on Tuesday after suffering sharp losses over the previous session and last week, as a resurgence of coronavirus cases globally hit prospects for crude demand while increasing supply also hurt sentiment.

The gloomy backdrop is set to keep prices under pressure over the coming day.

In early Asia, Brent crude was up 12 cents, or 0.3%, at $40.58 a barrel by 0039 GMT, having dropped more than 3% overnight. U.S. oil was up 13 cents, or 03%, at $38.69 a barrel, after also declining more than 3% on Monday.

The lack of progress in striking an agreement for a U.S. coronavirus relief package added to the general market gloom, although U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday she was hopeful a deal with the White House can be reached before the Nov. 3 elections.

A wave of coronavirus infections sweeping across the United States, Russia, France and many other countries has undermined the global economic outlook, with record numbers of new cases possibly forcing some countries to impose fresh restrictions as winter looms.

“The market is under pressure from a toxic brew of no stimulus, rapidly increasing coronavirus cases, and the surprise increase of oil production in Libya,” Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho Securities.

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