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Oil prices may show record weekly decline over 4 years due to virus

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Oil prices have fallen to a minimum of more than a year on Friday and could record a maximum weekly decline of more than four years, as the rapid spread of coronavirus has raised concerns about a slowdown in global demand.

Fears of a pandemic intensified, while authorities are trying to prevent the further spread of coronavirus, which has already been detected in about 46 countries, in addition to China.

Futures for Brent crude oil decreased by 3.16% to $ 50.53 by 18:17 Moscow time, on WTI – by 4.67% to $ 44.89 per barrel.

Over the week, WTI has lost about 14% – maximum since May 2011, Brent – about 13% – maximum since mid-January 2016.

Virus infections have been reported on three continents. The total number of cases outside of China was 3,700, and about 70 people died. Currently, countries in addition to China account for about three quarters of new infections.

Markets are hoping for an increase in production cuts by the OPEC + group, which previously promised to respond responsibly to the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

Several OPEC member countries, including Saudi Arabia, are inclined toward the need to further reduce oil production by 1 million barrels per day amid a sharp drop in oil prices, four sources on the oil market told Reuters.

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