From the Field
Oil prices gain but set to record fifth straight weekly loss
LONDON, February 7, 2020 – Oil prices gained on Friday in Asia but is set to record their fifth straight weekly loss amid worries surrounding the recent coronavirus outbreak in China.
US Crude Oil WTI Futures gained 0.3% to $51.09 by 1:12 AM ET (05:12 GMT). It lost 3.7% on the week.
Meanwhile, international Brent Oil Futures climbed 0.4% to $55.16. It is down about 5% this week, set for the longest losing streak since November.
The gains today came after Reuters cited three unnamed sources and reported that OPEC+ might provisionally slash output by 600,000 barrels per day.
“We support this idea,” said Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, when asked about the proposal at a news conference in Mexico City later in the day.
The OPEC+ currently pumps more than 40% of the world’s oil.
However, gains of the oil prices were limited as death toll related to the coronavirus in China continued to rise.
The number of deaths from the coronavirus in China reached 636, with those affected topping 31,000, prompting the World Health Organization to warn that it was “too early” to declare a peak in the spread of the new disease.
“The impact of the coronavirus on the oil market remains largely a Chinese demand story with weakening jet fuel demand and economic run cuts, but demand destruction outside of China has been minimal, for now,” RBC Capital Markets analysts said in a note.