Oil prices erase gains in US trade, set for weekly falls

Spike in Covid-19 infections in US states can stall demand recovery

Oil prices rose on Friday, extending gains on optimism about a recovery in fuel demand worldwide, despite a surge in coronavirus infections in some USA states and signs of a revival in US crude production.

Worries about a second wave of COVID-19 cases in several USA states, where lockdowns had eased, and a rapid spread of infections in South America and South Asia are expected to keep a lid on fuel demand, traders said.

The softer export demand is also likely a contributing factor to the rising crude inventories along the Gulf Coast, home to some of the largest USA refineries, where an oil pile-up is sitting at a record high.

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for August delivery lost 23 cents to settle at 38.49 US dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for August delivery decreased 3 cents to close at 41.02 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

Revenue saw a drop of 16 per cent in Q4FY20 at Rs 2,607.38 crore compared to Rs 3,097.26 crore during the January to March period of 2018-19. On the production sector, crude oil production by OIL in 2019-20 is 3.134 MMT, which is 5.69% lower than the crude oil production of 3.323 MMT during 2018-19. These come as more than 2.4 million Americans have already been infected, with the death toll breaching 123,000.

5,318 new COVID-19 cases push Maharashtra's count to 1.59 lakh
India continued to be the fourth worst hit among 213 countries, with 2,03,051 active cases and 16,095 deaths. India had reported its first COVID-19 case from Kerala on January 30. 796 new cases were reported on June 27.

Globally, India, South Korea and New Zealand have all reported higher incidences of the Covid-19 in recent weeks.

The global economic outlook has also worsened or at best stayed about the same as in the past month, a majority of economists polled by Reuters said, and the recession under way is expected to be deeper than earlier predicted.

The prospect of increased United States crude production also kept a lid on gains on Friday. US and United Kingdom public health experts warned against lifting lockdowns too quickly amid a worrying rise in infection rates. Crude loadings from the field are set at a record 4.4 million barrels, or 465,000 barrels a day, in August, according to a loading program seen by Bloomberg, compared with 429,000 barrels a day expected in July.

On the fuel demand side, the EIA reported a decline of almost 1.7 million barrels in gasoline stockpiles, or about 400,000 more than expected.

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