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Oil prices slide 3% on record coronavirus cases and Libyan production

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

LONDON – Oil prices tumbled on Monday, amid investor alarm over mounting coronavirus cases in the US and Europe and an expansion of output in Libya.

West Texas Intermediate Crude prices (CL=F) in the US were down 3.3%, trading at $38.54 (£29.62) shortly after European markets opened. Widely traded brent futures contracts (BZ=F) were down 3.1%, trading at $40.49 (£31.12).

Demand is expected to take a hit from rising COVID-19 cases, with the latest virus developments also leaving equities trading lower in Asia and Europe and set for declines at the open in the US.

Eamonn Sheridan, chief Asia-Pacific currency analyst at ForexLive, also noted supply pressures on oil prices. “Libya is upping the pace it’s bringing production back online, adding supply into the market,” he said.

It comes after the country’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) announced on Monday, “the closures in all Libyan fields and ports have ended.”

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