Oil demand woes remain

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    MELBOURNE- Oil prices were little changed on Thursday after US lawmakers postponed a vote on a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package in hopes of reaching a bipartisan deal, while rising infections fuelled demand fears.

    US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slipped 1 cent to $40.21 a barrel, after jumping 2.4 percent on Wednesday.

    Brent crude futures rose 3 cents to $42.33 a barrel, after falling 0.2 percent overnight.

    US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made progress on COVID-19 relief legislation.

    WTI jumped on Wednesday after data from the US Energy Information Administration showed crude stocks and distillate inventories, which include diesel and jet fuel, fell more than expected in the latest week.

    But demand worries remain. Concerns are growing in New York, where COVID-19 infection rates continued to climb. The pandemic has infected more than 7.2 million and killed more than 206,000 people in the United States.