Oil slides over Covid surge, firmer dollar

Brent crude was down $0.25 to $68.77 a barrelr


Reuters August 19, 2021

NEW YORK:

Oil prices dipped slightly on Wednesday and extended declining trend to the fifth day as investors remain worried about the outlook for fuel demand on the back of surge in Covid-19 cases around the world and rising strength in the US dollar. Brent crude was down $0.25 to $68.77 a barrel by 11:47 a.m. EDT (1547 GMT). US WTI crude oil lost $0.41 to $66.17 a barrel. The US dollar index was up 0.1%, hitting its highest level since April. Crude prices often move inversely to the dollar because the commodity is priced in dollars; when the US currency rallies, it makes oil more expensive for foreign buyers. The market was helped by a bigger-than-expected drawdown in US crude inventories, which fell 3.2 million barrels last week to 435.5 million barrels, their lowest since January 2020 and more than anticipated. Gasoline stocks, however, rose modestly, which kept the market from moving up given ongoing worries about coronavirus.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2021.

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