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Crude oil futures closed lower on Monday, drifting down after two successive days of gains, amid concerns about outlook for energy demand due to the surge in the delta variant of the coronavirus and possible fresh travel restrictions in several places.

Investors also fear that the lack of a new supply agreement among the OPEC and its allies could prompt major oil producers to significantly step up production much faster.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended down by $0.46 or about 0.6% at $74.10 a barrel. WTI Futures had ended at $74.56 on Friday, gaining $1.62 or about 2.2%.

Brent crude futures were down $0.27 or 0.36% at $75.28 a barrel a little while ago.

Finance ministers from the Group of 20 countries warned over the weekend that the global economic growth is at risk from the spike of new coronavirus variants and the low vaccine availability in developing countries.

There were over 2.6 million new cases last week, with Europe experiencing a sharp increase of 30%, the WHO said in its latest epidemiological update.

The prospect of an extended lockdown in Sydney loomed as Australian health officials reported yet another record daily rise in Covid-19 cases.

In South Korea, the government has put its capital Seoul under the toughest anti-COVID curbs so far.

There are fears that the spread of the virus in Europe might prompt many governments to announce new round of restrictions.


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