Oil prices fell more than 2 percent on Friday as new lockdowns in Europe continued and world markets remained on edge over drawn-out vote counting in the United States presidential election.
West Texas Intermediate was down $1.06, or 2.7 percent, at $37.73 a barrel at 05:38 GMT, after dropping 0.9 percent on Thursday. Brent crude was off $1.05, or 2.6 percent, at $39.88, having fallen 0.7 percent in the previous session.
Crude prices were still up for the week, as investors watch for signs of whether OPEC+ will delay easing production cuts.
Meanwhile, Italy recorded its highest daily number of infections on Thursday and cases surged by at least 120,276 in the United States, the second consecutive daily record as the outbreak spreads across the country.
There is no solid evidence that OPEC+ is moving to slow or reverse the pace of production increases.
The European Union’s executive commission also cut its economic forecast and predicted the bloc will not see a rebound to pre-virus levels until 2023.
OPEC+ is expected to delay bringing back two million barrels per day of supply in January, given the decline in demand from new COVID-19 lockdowns.
Providing some support for the market, US inventories of crude oil plunged last week, although much of the fall was attributed to production being shut down as another hurricane swept through the Gulf of Mexico.
Stockpiles fell by eight million barrels in the week to October 30, against analyst expectations of a rise of nearly 900,000 barrels.