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Soaring Number Of COVID Cases Caps Oil Prices

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures are trading nearly flat on Friday while heading for their first weekly losses in three. The market is feeling pressure from both the demand and supply sides, led respectively by surging coronavirus cases in the United States and Europe, and Libyan output increases.

COVID-19 Update – Euro Zone Business Activity Shrinks

Several U.S. states reported record daily increases in infections on Thursday, raising concerns about future fuel demand, while France extended curfews for about two-thirds of its population as the second wave of the pandemic sweeps across Europe.

In related news, economic activity in the Euro Zone shrunk in October as coronavirus restrictions returned to the region, preliminary data showed on Friday.

The flash Euro Zone PMI Composite Output Index, which looks at activity in both manufacturing and services sectors, dropped to a four-month low in October to 49.4, versus 50.4 in September. A reading below 50 represents a contraction in activity.

The latest figures showed that manufacturing has remained somewhat resilient over the last month, but activity in services has fallen to a five-month low.

The latest numbers coincided with a period of new restrictions across the Euro Zone as it grapples with a second wave of coronavirus infections.

Libyan Output on the Rise

Libyan output, which had been mostly offline since January due to unrest, has reached 500,000 barrels…





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