Oil stumbles as coronavirus forces more lockdowns

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    SINGAPORE- Oil prices fell on Monday as a continued surge in coronavirus cases globally forced a series of renewed lockdowns, including strict new measures in Southern California in the United States, the world’s top oil consumer.

    Brent crude oil futures were down 20 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $49.05 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate oil futures fell 20 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $46.06 a barrel. Both benchmarks gained for a fifth consecutive week last week.

    “Crude pared earlier vaccine roll-out gains after Los Angeles county had another record high in coronavirus cases and South Korea raised their alert level,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.

    “COVID restrictive measures and lockdowns across the globe seem poised to keep crude prices heavy in the short term.”