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U.S. benchmark crude finishes lower for fifth straight week

|About: The United States Oil ETF, LP (USO)|By: , SA News Editor

WTI March crude oil closes -1.2% at $50.32/bbl for a 2.4% decline this week, marking a fifth straight weekly fall, as strong U.S. economic data failed to offset concerns over the global economy fed by the spread of the coronavirus.

April Brent crude settled -0.8% to $54.47/bbl, capping a 3.8% loss for the week that also was a fifth straight weekly decline.

Investors are more focused on whether OPEC+ will "do anything with respect to the supply... we need a supply cut,” AvaTrade chief market analyst Naeem Aslam told MarketWatch. "The threat to the demand equation is huge from the coronavirus' impact, and this is where major concerns are."

OPEC+ was expected to announce additional production cuts of ~600K bbl/day to offset the weaker global demand, but hopes for a deal may have been dashed when Russia said it is still undecided.

Crude prices have fallen ~20% since the outbreak in China, the world's biggest importer of crude, taking in ~10M bbl/day in 2019.

But just how much demand is falling remains uncertain, with estimates ranging from a couple hundred thousand barrels per day to more than 3M bbl/day.

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