NEW YORK: Oil prices dropped nearly three per cent on Friday as the economic recovery worldwide runs into stumbling blocks due to renewed coronavirus lockdowns, even as major global crude producers limit crude supply.

The euro zone’s economic recovery from its deepest downturn on record has stalled this month as pent-up demand unleashed by the easing of lockdowns in July dwindled, a survey showed.

By contrast, US housing and manufacturing survey data came in better than expected, offsetting a surprising increase in jobless claims on Thursday.

Brent crude futures were down 84 cents, or 1.9 per cent, at $44.06 a barrel at 1:12 p.m. EDT (1712 GMT), heading for a nearly 2pc weekly fall.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 86 cents, or 2pc, at $41.96 a barrel, on track to be unchanged for the week.

“Right now, the concerns about demand and the uptick in Covid-19 cases seems to be the big reason why were weaker,” said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2020

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