Oil falls on renewed COVID-19 concerns


    SINGAPORE- Oil prices fell on Monday on renewed concerns about global fuel demand amid strict coronavirus lockdowns in Europe and new movement restrictions in China, the world’s second-largest oil user, after a jump in cases there.

    Brent crude oil futures fell 42 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $55.57 a barrel after earlier climbing to $56.39, its highest since Feb. 25, 2020. Brent rose in the previous four sessions.

    US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) slipped 22 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $52.02 a barrel. WTI rose to its highest in nearly a year on Friday.

    “Covid hot spots flaring again in Asia, with 11 million people (in) lockdowns in China Hebei province… along with a touch of FED policy uncertainty has triggered some profit taking out of the gates this morning,” Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi, said in a note on Monday.

    Mainland China saw its biggest daily increase in COVID-19 cases in more than five months, the country’s national health authority said on Monday, as new infections in Hebei province, which surrounds the capital Beijing, continued to rise.