Oil futures lost ground on Monday, with the weakness partly due to concerns about the demand outlook as COVID-19 infections continued to rise outside of the US.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil for delivery in May
fell 10 cents, or 0.2%, to $ 63.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. June Brent crude
The global benchmark fell 10 cents, or 0.1%, to $ 66.67 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.
"On the demand side, we certainly see some risks: In emerging countries in particular, which are responsible for a large part of the recovery in demand, the number of new COVID-19 infections has risen sharply recently, which could jeopardize the economic recovery there," wrote Eugen Weinberg, raw materials analyst at Commerzbank, in a note.
"This is probably why the demand for fuel in India, the third largest crude oil importer in the world, has recently declined again," he said. Data from state-owned refiners showed diesel demand fell 3% to 1.38 million barrels a day in the first half of April. Meanwhile, gasoline demand, which tends to track private consumption, fell 5% to 561,000 barrels a day.
India has overtaken Brazil as the country with the second highest number of cases of 15.1 million and ranks fourth worldwide with 178,769 deaths. Brazil ranks third with 13.9 million cases and second with 373,335 fatalities. Mexico ranks third with 212,339 deaths and 14th with 2.3 million cases.
Analysts said a weaker tone for the US dollar helped offset pressures on crude oil. The ICE US dollar index
A measure of the currency versus a basket of six major competitors fell 0.5%.
A softer dollar can have a positive effect on commodities valued in dollars, making them cheaper for users of other currencies.