Oil prices fell on Friday for a sixth day in a row, down nearly 9% for the week, as a new wave of COVID-19 infections in particular across Europe spurred fresh lockdowns and dampened hopes for an imminent recovery in fuel demand.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 4 cents, or 0.07%, to $59.96 a barrel by 0552 GMT, as reported by Reuters.

Brent crude was down 10 cents, or 0.16%, to $63.18 a barrel.

Oil had edged up in Asia’s morning trading after a 7% drop on Thursday as physical buyers leapt at the chance to load up on cheap oil, said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA, in a Friday note.

Read alsoNord Stream 2 "trap" for all European countries – ZelenskyBut the market remains increasingly worried about fuel demand outlook amid rising coronavirus cases, fresh restrictions and slowing vaccination rollouts in some countries, analysts said.

Supplies of oil are plentiful as well, with Saudi Arabia’s crude exports increasing in January for a seventh straight month to the highest since April 2020, according to the Joint Organisations Data Initiative website on Thursday.

Shipments from the world’s biggest oil exporter increased to 6.582 million barrels per day in January from 6.495 million the previous month.

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