By Gina Lee
Investing.com – Oil fell on Monday morning in Asia, falling more than 1% and dropping below the $70 mark. Concerns remained that the restrictive measures currently in place to curb the latest COVID-19 outbreaks would continue to dampen the fuel demand outlook.
Brent oil futures fell 1.06% to $69.84 by 12:36 AM ET (4:36 AM GMT) after edging lower during the previous week. WTI futures slid 1.11% to $67.45 after recording a slight rise last week. WTI futures also rolled over to the Oct 21 contract on Aug. 15.
“Crude oil remained under pressure as the fast-spreading Delta variant of COVID-19 casts a cloud over the outlook for demand,” ANZ Research analysts said in a note.
Data released in China earlier in the day said industrial production rose 6.4% year-on-year in July, and retail sales grew 8.5% year-on-year in the same month, both lower than expected. A recent tightening of restrictive measures due to the latest COVID-19 outbreak was a likely contributor to the disappointing data from the world’s top oil importer.
In neighboring Japan, the GDP grew 0.3% quarter-on-quarter and 1.3% year-on-year in the second quarter. The figures come despite parts of the country remaining under a state of emergency to curb the latest outbreak in the country.
The darkening fuel demand outlook fits the International Energy Agency’s grim prediction during the previous week that demand would rise at a slower rate for the remainder of 2021, after reversing its trend upwards in July due to COVID-19 outbreaks involving the Delta variant globally.
Oil Down, Surge in COVID-19 Cases Globally Continues to Threaten Fuel Demand
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