Oil prices dipped on Thursday after the United States recorded its biggest one-day spike in coronavirus cases and California reimposed some lockdown measures, stoking worries a resurgence in COVID-19 cases will stall a recovery in fuel demand.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures fell 10 cents, or 0.3%, to $39.72 a barrel at 0148 GMT, trimming a 1.4% rise from Wednesday, as reported by Reuters.
Brent crude LCOc1 futures eased 6 cents, or 0.1%, to $41.97 a barrel, after rising 1.8% in the previous session.
California sharply rolled back efforts to reopen its economy on Wednesday, banning indoor restaurant dining in much of the state, closing bars and beefing up enforcement of social distancing and other measures as COVID-19 infections surged.
Analysts highlighted worries about the spike in cases in heavily populated U.S. sun belt states, which are among the country’s biggest consumers of gasoline.
New U.S. COVID-19 cases rose by nearly 50,000 on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, in the biggest one-day spike since the start of the pandemic. More than half the new cases each day are in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas.
All eyes will be on driving activity in the United States over the upcoming July 4th holiday weekend and how quickly U.S. producers revive shut-in production, analysts said.