Oil falls for sixth day as China virus spreads

Energy

Rusted out “pump-jacks” in the oil town of Luling, Texas.

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Oil futures slipped on Tuesday, extending losses into a sixth session as the spread of a new virus in China and other countries raised concerns about a hit to economic growth and slower oil demand.

Brent crude was down 15 cents, or 0.3%, to $59.17 at around 0114 GMT, after touching a three-month low on Monday at $58.50.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate was down 12 cents, or 0.2%, at $53.02, after slipping to its lowest since early October in the previous session at $52.13.

The United States warned against travel to China and other countries put out advisories as the death toll from the spreading coronavirus outbreak rose to 100 people and left millions of Chinese stranded during the biggest holiday of the year.

Oil investors are concerned travel advisories, other restrictions and any fall-off in economic growth in the world’s second-biggest economy and elsewhere will dampen demand for crude and its products, amid plentiful supply.

“Jet fuel demand has already been negatively impacted given our real time observation of Chinese flight activity,” RBC Capital Markets said in a note.

U.S. crude stockpiles likely rose last week, according to a Reuters poll, underlining the supply side concerns.

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