Oil prices eased on Friday, reversing earlier gains, as the resurgence of the coronavirus globally and in the United States, the world's largest oil consumer, stoked worries that a fuel demand recovery could stall.
Brent crude LCOc1 futures were down 29 cents, or 0.7%, at $42.85 a barrel as of 0339 GMT, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures fell 31 cents, or 0.8%, to $40.34 a barrel, as reported by Reuters.
Both benchmarks rose more than 2% on Thursday, buoyed by stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs data and a fall in U.S. crude inventories. For the week, Brent is up 4.4% and WTI is up 4.8%.
Increases in the daily cases of the coronavirus, however, globally and in the United States pressured prices. New U.S. COVID-19 cases rose by more than 50,000 on Thursday, setting a record for a third consecutive day, according to a Reuters tally.
Gasoline demand will be closely watched as the United States heads into its July 4 holiday weekend when many Americans are expected to hit the road.