Crude Oil prices fell for a fifth day on Thursday to their lowest since January 2019 as a growing number of new coronavirus cases outside of China deepened fears that the global economy will slow and lower crude demand.
Brent crude was down 77 cents, or 1.4 per cent at $52.66 a barrel at 0204 GMT. The contract earlier fell to its lowest since Jan. 4, 2019. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures fell by 80 cents, or 1.6 per cent, to $47.93 a barrel. The contract earlier fell to its lowest since Jan. 2, 2019.
Brent prices have dropped 11 per cent in the past five trading sessions through Thursday, the biggest five-day percentage loss since August 2019. WTI has declined 10.8 per cent over the same period, also the biggest five-day percentage drop since August 2019.
On Wednesday, the number of new coronavirus infections outside China exceeded the number reported in China, the source of the outbreak, for the first time ever. Italy and Iran are emerging as new epicentres of the rapidly spreading illness.
President Donald Trump assured Americans on Wednesday evening that the risk from coronavirus remained “very low”. However, Asian share markets fell on Thursday morning, as investors fear the coronavirus spread will disrupt the global economy as quarantines and other measures to halt its advance slow trade and industry.
“Speculations that coronavirus may spread in the United States prompted a series of fresh selling,” said Kazuhiko Saito, chief analyst at Fujitomi Co.