Financial markets fell on Monday after the United States, the world’s largest economy, reported more than 83,000 new COVID-19 infections over the weekend, topping the previous record of 77,300 cases in July when Sun Belt state saw a sharp spike that was largely controlled inside. a month. Health officials, however, warned the new spike was different and unlikely to be easy to control as it coincides with cooler flu season and weather. That sentiment was echoed in comments from White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows who said on Sunday that the United States would not be able to control the pandemic amid a surge in new cases.
In parts of the European Union, the relentless increase in COVID-19 infections has triggered what is technically a lockdown from the past eight months, including curfews and the resumption of non-essential businesses. On Sunday, Spain and Italy declared a national state of emergency, while the Czech Republic closed its national borders and asked its citizens to refrain from all non-essential travel. Traffic activity in the 19-nation economic bloc further eroded this weekend, with volumes falling below a Jan 13 baseline in Italy, Spain and the UK.
The effect of this restriction is already evident in the Eurozone economic data for early October, with consumer confidence across the 19-nation economic bloc deteriorating to negative 15.5 and the services sector falling deeper into contraction with a reading of 46.2.
Domestically, offshore oil producers in the Gulf of Mexico have once again begun pulling staff and shutting down production platforms ahead of Tropical Storm Zeta which is now expected to hit the Louisiana Coast as a Category 1 hurricane Wednesday evening, Thursday morning. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement estimates that about 15.87% of current oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been closed as of Monday afternoon.
During the session, December West Texas Intermediate futures fell $ 1.29 or more than 3% to settle at $ 38.56 bbl and December Brent crude on ICE fell $ 1.31 to $ 40.46 bbl on a month-delivery contract. next January with a premium of 35 cents. November NYMEX ULSD futures slumped 2.95 cents to settle at a 3-week low of $ 1.1218 gallon, with the December futures holding a 0.61 cent premium for expiring contracts. The RBOB November contract fell 2.73 cents to $ 1.1116 a gallon and second-month delivery on the second month finished the session at a discount of 1.47 cents. December Brent crude, November ULSD and RBOB contracts expire Friday afternoon.
Liubov Georges can be reached at [email protected]
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