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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Crude oil is trading at its lowest levels in over five months as new cases of COVID-19 are rising globally, a bearish sign for the recovery of petroleum demand.

Why it matters: The stalled (and now reversing) price recovery is ominous for the industry, including indebted U.S. producers that were struggling even before the crisis. This year has brought a slew of bankruptcies.

The big picture, via the Financial Times: "The gloomy start to the week came after Boris Johnson, UK prime minister, announced on Saturday tight national restrictions in England just days after Germany and France enacted similar measures."

What they're saying: “Near-term oil fundamentals will continue to deteriorate until the unprecedented rise in COVID infections is brought under control,” PVM broker Stephen Brennock tells Reuters.

What we're watching: Whether OPEC+ will revisit plans to further ease their joint supply curbs at the start of 2021.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Nov 2, 2020 - Health

Europe heads back into lockdown

A worker packs away awnings outside a cafe in London. Photo: Hollie Adams/Getty Images

A slew of European countries have announced new lockdowns over the last week in response to uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus.

Between the lines: Many of these countries are facing the threat of overrun health care systems in the near-term future and, potentially, harrowing decisions about how to ration care, the Washington Post reports.

What COVID-19 vaccine trials still need to do

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

COVID-19 vaccines are being developed at record speed, but some experts fear the accelerated regulatory process could interfere with ongoing research about the vaccines.

Why it matters: Even after the first COVID-19 vaccines are deployed, scientific questions will remain about how they are working and how to improve them.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

Faces of COVID creator on telling the stories of those we've lost

America yesterday lost 2,762 people to COVID-19, per the CDC, bringing the total pandemic toll to 272,525. That's more than the population of Des Moines, Iowa. Or Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Or Toledo, Ohio.

Axios Re:Cap speaks with Alex Goldstein, creator of the @FacesofCOVID Twitter account, about sharing the stories behind the statistics.