Oil prices edged lower on Monday as climbing coronavirus cases and tighter restrictions in Europe and China fueled worries over a slower recovery in fuel demand.
Encouraging GDP and industrial production data from China helped to limit the downside to some extent.
Brent crude for March delivery eased 0.2 percent to $54.98 a barrel, after having fallen 2.3 percent on Friday. Similarly, U.S. oil futures were down 0.1 percent at $52.36 after falling more than 2 percent in the previous session.
The total number of global coronavirus cases topped 95 million, while the death toll surpassed 2 million.
China reported more than 100 new Covid-19 cases for the sixth consecutive day, while the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients with serious symptoms in Japan topped 970, marking a record high since the onset of the pandemic in the country.
Portugal imposed a new nationwide lockdown while the U.K. government announced that it will close all travel corridors from today in order to restrict the spread of new coronavirus variant cases.
New coronavirus infections have been decreasing in Germany but the country’s health minister said that more needed to be done to bring it permanently under control.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany’s 16 state premiers will discuss what to do next on Tuesday.
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