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Oil Futures Settle Sharply Lower As Shanghai Lockdown Fuels Demand Concerns

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Crude oil prices fell on Monday amid concerns about outlook for energy demand from the world’s largest oil importer after Shanghai announced fresh lockdowns to curb the spread of Covid-19 infections in the country.

Reports saying Yemen’s Houthi rebels have announced a three-day unilateral cease-fire with the Saudi-led coalition contributed as well to the drop in crude oil prices.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended down by $7.94 or about 7% at $105.96 a barrel, off the day’s low of $104.50.

Brent crude futures were down $9.57 or 8.1% at $107.80 a barrel a little while ago.

China has begun its most extensive lockdown in two years with millions of people in the nation’s financial hub confined to their homes.

Shanghai said on Sunday it would lock down the city in two stages to carry out Covid-19 testing over nine days.

Investors also closely followed the developments on the Russia-Ukraine war front. Russia and Ukraine are set to begin talks in Turkey on Tuesday after the former said it may scale down its war and aims to concentrate on eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine President Zelenskyy also said he wants to make a deal with Moscow over Donbas and he is willing to discuss adopting a neutral status too.

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