MOSCOW, February 4. /TASS/. Brent oil futures for April 2020 declined by 4.9% at London’s ICE stock exchange on Tuesday, falling below $54 per barrel to reach their lowest point in more than a year.
As of 04:10 Moscow time, Brent oil futures traded at $53.98 per barrel. Last time, oil prices fell below $54 per barrel on January 3, 2019.
Global Oil prices have been battered over the past two weeks due to the rapid spreading of the novel coronavirus in China. A sharp decline in business activity and tourism in China caused the oil demand in the country to shrink by about 20%, or 3 million barrels.
On December 31, 2019, Chinese authorities informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about an outbreak of an unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, a large trade and industrial center in central China populated by 11 million people. On January 7, 2020, Chinese experts identified the infecting agent as coronavirus 2019-nCoV. This new strain of coronavirus has already been identified in another 23 countries, including Russia. The World Health Organization has recognized the pneumonia outbreak in China as an international emergency.
As of Tuesday, the number of novel coronavirus cases in China exceeded 20,400 people, at least 425 of them died. One more fatality was reported outside China - in the Philippines.