Oil Prices Slump As Virus Crisis Worsens
Singapore, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 30th Mar, 2020 ) :Oil prices slumped in Asian trade Monday, tracking falls on stock markets after a sharp escalation in the coronavirus crisis over the weekend.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell 3.9 percent to trade at $20 a barrel, while international benchmark Brent crude was off 4.9 percent at $23 a barrel.
Senior US scientist Anthony Fauci estimated the virus could possibly result in 100,000 to 200,000 deaths in the United States, while President Donald Trump extended "social distancing" guidelines until April 30.
Along with global stocks, prices had clawed back some ground last week as policymakers worldwide unleashed massive stimulus measures to prop up the virus-hit global economy.
But Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at AxiCorp, said prices had now "softened".
This suggested "the direction of travel skews lower as markets anticipate a (second quarter) that will inevitably see a large build in inventories, as demand echoes the shutting down of major global economies", he added.