U.S. oil notches sharpest daily slide in over 6 weeks as viral spread sparks fresh demand worries

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U.S. oil prices ended sharply lower on Monday, but off their steepest declines, amid reports that a variant of the novel strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19 discovered in the U.K. could pose another hurdle for demand of the commodity. U.S. oil prices for February delivery finished $1.27, or 2.6%, lower at $47.97 a barrel. The daily slide represented the sharpest for the most-active contract for West Texas Intermediate oil since a 4.3% slide put in on Nov. 6, FactSet data show. Those living in London and much of the southeast of England were placed under tighter restrictions ahead of the Christmas holidays, shutting nonessential shops and banning nonessential travel. Several European countries and Canada closed their borders to U.K. travelers, including France, which blocked air, sea and land traffic from the country.
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