Crude oil prices declined sharply on Thursday amid reports the OPEC has recommended an extension of current output cuts and reduce output by another 1.5 million barrels a day for the second quarter.

The OPEC and its allies are scheduled to meet on Friday and the final decision on output reduction will be out after their meeting.

Worries about the outlook for energy demand due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the global economy weighed on the commodity

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $0.88, or nearly 2%, at $45.90 a barrel.

On Wednesday, WTI crude oil futures for April ended down $0.40, or about 0.9%, at $46.78 a barrel.

According to reports, the coronavirus has infected 95,000 people in more than 80 countries and caused over 3,200 deaths.

While the pace of coronavirus spread slowed sharply in China, the virus is now spreading more rapidly in countries like South Korea and Italy.

South Korea reported an additional 516 cases of coronavirus Wednesday, bringing the total to 5,328 confirmed cases, the largest outbreak outside of mainland China.

In Italy, there have been more than 2,000 cases, with all schools and colleges shut for 10 days.

California declared a state of emergency as a cruise ship was held off the coast over fears of a new outbreak.


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