Crude oil closes lower amid concerns over the rise in COVID infections in China

Crude oil futures closed more than 4% lower on Thursday (Nov. 17), as markets were hit by fears that the COVID-19 pandemic in China will hurt the economy and oil demand.

  • WTI crude futures dropped $3.95, or 4.6%, to settle at $81.64 a barrel.
  • BRENT crude futures were down $3.08, or 3.3%, at $89.78 a barrel.

The oil market continues to be pressured by the COVID-19 pandemic in China, the world’s largest crude oil importer. China reported 23,276 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, November 16, up from 20,199 on Tuesday, November 15, according to the National Health Commission (NHC).

At the same time, it was reported that refiners in China reduced their crude oil purchases from Saudi Arabia in December and also postponed the purchase of Russian crude oil.

In addition, the oil market was hurt by the strength of the dollar as Federal Reserve officials encouraged the Fed to raise interest rates. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said the current policy rate is not in the range considered sufficiently tight.

The dollar index rose 0.39% to 106.6930 against a basket of six major currencies, with dollar strength making dollar-denominated crude oil contracts more expensive for investors holding other currencies.

The Spot Market is Open

Friday, November 18, 2022

Updated at


Crude Oil




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