Nov 19, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Oil falls steeply as COVID bites again

Illustration of three oil barrels with red background

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Crude oil prices are heading sharply downward this morning as traders react to fresh signs of the pandemic's persistence.

Driving the news: Prices fell by over $2.50 per barrel, before regaining a little ground, in the latest declines that have pushed crude to its lowest level in roughly six weeks.

  • Friday morning's drop comes after new lockdowns in Austria and restrictions elsewhere in Europe as cases rise.

What they're saying: "The market still remains fundamentally in a good position but lockdowns are now an obvious risk to this if other countries follow Austria's lead," Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said in a note.

The intrigue: Even before today's decline, oil had fallen from multiyear highs in October.

  • Bloomberg has an interesting piece about the effects of Biden administration threats of actions like releasing crude from strategic stockpiles.
  • "President Joe Biden, battling the political consequences of the strongest inflationary surge in decades, has spent a good month trying to talk down the price of oil. And for now, it’s working," it reports.
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