Oil falls as virus death toll climbs, US inventories rise

Coronavirus Oil prices fall amid coronavirus rise in crude stocks

Oil prices rose due to China virus outbreak

Analysts said raising of bets by participants kept crude prices higher in futures trade here.

Brent-crude futures were 0.2% higher on the day at $56.71 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate futures were up 0.7% at $51.92 a barrel.

The CSI 300 Index slumped as much as 9.1% as onshore financial markets opened for the first time since January 23, while the yuan tumbled and crude futures in Shanghai also sank by more than 7%.

Oil prices have fallen victim to economic worries sparked by a deadly virus spreading from China, the world's second-biggest economy and a huge consumer of crude. Segun Ajibola, had told The Guardian that as the 2020 fiscal budget remained in deficit, decline in oil price and production quota for Nigeria's projected 2.18 barrels daily would have a devastating effect on the budget implementation, thereby worsening the projected deficit.

China's factory activity stalled in January as export orders fell, and analysts expect a big plunge in February's data as the virus outbreak hits demand in the country.

OPEC wants to extend oil production cuts until at least June from March, and may deepen the reductions should demand for oil in China be significantly reduced by the spread of the virus, OPEC sources said.

Brent crude was at $56.14 a barrel by 0241 GMT, down 48 cents, or 0.9%, after losing almost 12% in January, the steepest monthly decline since November 2018.

While China coronavirus was causing jitters on global financial markets, Chinese markets were closed last week for the Chinese New Year.

Goldman Sachs said the outbreak was likely to shave 0.4 percentage point from China's economic growth in 2020 and could also drag the USA economy lower.

The impact of the potential demand hit is being heightened as the market is awash with crude, particularly from countries outside OPEC. Only an additional OPEC cut could change things, " Jakob said.

A Reuters poll on Friday indicated oil prices should remain supported near current levels this year as political risks and OPEC-led output curbs offset growing supply.

But oil prices would likely rebound soon after a 14% drop so far, far more than the fall in stock markets. Saudi Arabia is pressing for a gathering sooner than the one scheduled for March 5-6, though it has run into resistance from Russian Federation.

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