Oil prices tumbled about 4 per cent on Friday on rising US-China tensions and doubts about how quickly fuel demand would recover from the coronavirus crisis. Fuel demand plummeted as the coronavirus pandemic caused governments to impose restrictions on movement and businesses closed their doors.
Oil has rallied in recent days on as activity starts to resume, but prices dropped after China said on Friday it would not publish an annual growth target for the first time. The nation also pledged more government spending as the pandemic kept hammering the world’s second-biggest economy.
“The coronavirus has nullified a decade of global oil demand growth and the recovery will be slow,” said Stephen Brennock of broker PVM.
Brent crude futures fell $1.53, or 4.2 per cent, to $34.53 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $1.20, or 3.5 per cent, to $32.72 a barrel.