Oil prices fell on Tuesday as demand concerns driven by Covid-19 outweighed hopes that U.S. lawmakers and the White House were nearing an agreement on a new stimulus package to revive the world’s biggest economy.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures slipped 17 cents, or 0.4%, to $40.43 at 0120 GMT, while Brent crude futures also fell 17 cents, or 0.4%, to $42.26 a barrel. Both benchmarks rose about 1% on Monday.
Brent and WTI in August hit their highest levels since early March on optimism over rising fuel demand and major oil producers’ strong compliance with promised supply cuts, but have since dropped by about $3 on demand worries.
In another negative demand sign, crude imports in August to Japan, the world’s fourth biggest consumer, slumped nearly 26%, government data showed on Tuesday.
The market will be looking for signs of U.S. demand growth in data due on Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.