Oil prices extended losses to about three per cent on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he has tested positive for COVID-19.
Agreement on a U.S. stimulus package also eluded negotiators amid ongoing worries about demand.
Brent crude slipped on the Trump news and was down $1.12 or 2.7 per cent at $39.81 a barrel by 0710 GMT. U.S. oil was also down $1.12 or 2.9 per cent at $37.60. U.S. and Brent crudes are heading for drops of around five per cent and six per cent respectively this week for a second consecutive week of declines.
In a tweet, Trump said that he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19.
Oil was already in negative territory after a bipartisan deal for more economic relief in response to the pandemic continued to elude House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi and the White House, adding to fears about worsening demand without more support for the economy.
“It was a weak market already and this event has come along and added uncertainty, giving pause for people to say, ‘you know what, I’m taking some risk off the table’,’’ said Lachlan Shaw, Head of Commodity Research at National Australia Bank in Melbourne. Crude supplies from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rose in September by 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) from a month earlier, a Reuters’ survey showed.
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