Oil prices fell around 3 percent on Tuesday on concerns that new pandemic curbs and slow vaccine rollouts in Europe will slow a recovery in demand.
Brent crude for May settlement tumbled 3.9 percent to $62.13 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate for May delivery slumped 3.8 percent to $59.24.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and regional leaders of 16 federal states agreed late Monday to impose a hard lockdown during Easter amid an exponential growth in the number of coronavirus cases in the country, in what is being called a “third wave”.
Elsewhere, India’s total active caseload is rising after touching its lowest mark in mid-February. In the U.S., New Jersey will likely pause its reopening plans as Covid-19 cases begin to rise again in the state, Gov. Phil Murphy said.
British drug maker AstraZeneca Plc may have provided an incomplete view of efficacy data on its Covid-19 vaccine from a large scale U.S. trial, the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said on Tuesday, in a fresh setback to the shot.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) will report its latest data on U.S. crude stockpiles later in the day with analysts expecting U.S. crude inventories to decline by about 900,000 barrels in the week to March 19.