Oil prices slipped on Tuesday as investors remained concerned about climbing coronavirus cases globally, though an anticipated drawdown in crude oil inventory in the United States for a fifth straight week stemmed losses.
After falling on Monday, Brent crude oil futures slipped by 9 cents, or 0.2%, to $55.57 a barrel by 0135 GMT while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell by 8 cents, or 0.2%, to $52.17 a barrel.
Worldwide coronavirus cases surpassed 90 million on Monday, according to Reuters tally, as nations around the globe scramble to procure vaccines and continue to extend or reinstate lockdowns to fight new coronavirus variants.
“I think the market will be rapid to conclude that yesterday’s modest pullback in price, provided the virus spread in China remains contained, was but a blip on the radar screen,” said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi in a note, citing the prospect of increased economic stimulus in the United States.
President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office on Jan. 20 with his Democratic party in control of both Houses, has promised “trillions” in extra pandemic-relief spending.