WTI Crude Below $50 as Coronavirus Fears Deepen

WTI Crude Below $50 as Coronavirus Fears DeepenWTI Crude Below $50 as Coronavirus Fears Deepen

Crude oil prices gave up early gains and slid for a fourth day on Wednesday as fears of a coronavirus pandemic deepened as the outbreak spread in several countries outside China.
Brent crude fell 31 cents, or 0.6%, to $54.64 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 16 cents, or 0.3%, to $49.74, Reuters reported.
Fears of a pandemic have escalated as authorities around the world battle to prevent the spread of coronavirus, which has now been found in about 30 countries.
Asian shares fell on Wednesday as a US warning to Americans to prepare for the possibility of a pandemic jolted Wall Street yet again and pushed yields on safe-haven Treasuries to record lows.
"The shift in focus from just an external demand shock from China to an overwhelming US economic blow could send oil prices into a faster tailspin," Stephen Innes, market strategist at AxiTrader, said in a note.
"The reality is that the coronavirus has not been contained and is now spreading like wildfire across the world, and you can't put that smoke back in the wood," he said.
Earlier, oil prices rose on short-covering and amid hopes for deeper output cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russia, a grouping known as OPEC+.
OPEC and OPEC + are due to meet in Vienna over March 5-6. 
The International Energy Agency's outlook for global oil demand growth has fallen to its lowest level in a decade, Executive Director Fatih Birol said Tuesday, adding it could be reduced further due to the outbreak.


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