By Sonali Paul
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Oil costs fell on Tuesday, extending sharp losses overnight, as the speedy spread of a new pressure of the novel coronavirus in the United Kingdom prompted several nations around the world to close their borders to British travellers and freight.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped 30 cents, or .6%, to $47.67 a barrel at 0156 GMT, though Brent crude futures fell 26 cents, or .5%, to $50.65 a barrel.
Both benchmark contracts slid practically 3% on Monday, partly erasing current robust gains on the back again of the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, seen as key to easing mobility constraints.
Immediately after the Uk federal government warned that a new variant of the virus seemed to be spreading significantly more rapidly than prior sorts, India, Pakistan, Russia, Jordan and Hong Kong joined European nations in suspending vacation from Britain, and Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman shut their borders completely.
“The nightmare ahead of Xmas state of affairs has established in, with a mix of the ‘mutant virus’ compounded by Brexit angst,” mentioned Stephen Innes, main market place strategist at Axi, referring to doubts more than irrespective of whether British isles Key Minister Boris Johnson can protected a put up-Brexit trade deal with the European Union.
Innes stated the oil current market experienced been overbought, with lengthy positions outweighing small positions by all around 4 to 1, so the selloff was unavoidable.
With the U.S. dollar mounting as a safe-haven forex, U.S.-dollar priced oil is much less appealing for purchasers keeping other currencies, which extra to strain on oil costs.
“The draw back threats are greater than the upside until we much better comprehend how politicians are going to react in 2021 – irrespective of whether they’re going to lock things down yet again,” Innes mentioned.
(Reporting by Sonali Paul Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)