Feb 26, 2020 - Energy & Environment
Coronavirus fears are causing oil prices to slide
Oil prices have resumed their slide in recent days, signaling renewed fears of how much the novel coronavirus will eat into demand.
Why it matters: It's a barometer of how the spreading and sometimes deadly illness is curbing global economic activity.
Driving the news: The latest estimate arrived Wednesday morning when Goldman Sachs analysts cut their 2020 demand growth forecast by 600,000 barrels per day from the prior 1.2 million.
- This reflects "large demand declines in China, second derivative demand impacts in both OECD and non-OECD Asia, and some mild weather impacts in North America and Europe."
- "If the coronavirus spreads further globally, then we expect further downside risk to our estimates," they said in a note.
What's next: All eyes will be on next week's meeting of OPEC+, which is the coalition of OPEC, Russia and other allied producers.
- “OPEC+ may decide to trigger more supply cuts at next weeks meeting, but this may only have a limited effect on oil prices, as demand-side concerns are expected to continue having a major sway on the commodities complex,” FXTM analyst Han Tan tells Reuters.
The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others.
- By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,146 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 322 cases have been confirmed.
Go deeper: The latest on the coronavirus