Oil prices were mixed on Thursday as concerns about falling demand caused by travel restrictions tied to the coronavirus outbreak in China, the world’s biggest oil importer, outweighed expectations of supply cuts from major producers.
Brent crude LCOc1 fell 8 cents, or 0.1%, to $55.71 per barrel at 0533 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) CLc1 rose 7 cents, or 0.1%, to $51.24 a barrel. Brent rose 3.2% on Wednesday while WTI gained 2.5% as a slowdown in new Chinese coronavirus cases boosted expectations of a demand recovery.
However, Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, said on Thursday the number of new confirmed cases there jumped by 14,840 on Feb. 12 to 48,206, and deaths climbed by a daily record of 242 to 1,310, reflecting changes to the diagnostic methodology.