Crude oil prices drifted lower on Monday amid continues worries about outlook for energy demand due to rising coronavirus cases in India.
However, the downside was limited on reports the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies are likely to delay their plans to any significantly increase crude output for now.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended lower by $0.23 or about 0.4% at $61.91 a barrel.
India reported a record number of Covid-19 cases for the fifth straight day on Monday and the official death toll also jumped, plunging the country into a humanitarian crisis.
Rising virus cases in India and restrictions to limit the spread will slash fuel demand, analysts said as countries including Britain, Germany and the United States pledged to send urgent medical aid to help battle the crisis overwhelming its hospitals.
Consultancy FGE expects gasoline demand in India to slip by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) in April and by more than 170,000 bpd in May. India’s total gasoline sales came to nearly 747,000 bpd in March. Diesel demand is expected to slump by 220,000 bpd in April and by another 400,000 bpd in May.
In Japan, a third state of emergency for Tokyo and three western prefectures began on Sunday, affecting nearly a quarter of the population.