Oil edged lower as the resurgence of the coronavirus in the U.S. continued to dampen the prospects of a broader demand recovery. Futures in New York fell 1.3% toward $39 a barrel. With the coronavirus running rampant across southern and western America and many states pausing or reversing reopening measures, the outlook for energy demand in the world’s largest economy remains uncertain. Oil prices are also being put under pressure by the prospect of returning supply from Libya.
Though prices are heading for a 10% gain this month and the market is in much better shape than a couple of months ago, global consumption is still a long way off pre-crisis levels. Gasoline demand in the U.S. is under threat again with the virus restraining public activity. Royal Dutch Shell Plc painted a bleak picture of the industry as it forecast billions of dollars of asset writedowns.