Oil prices fell for a sixth day on Thursday, in the longest losing streak since February 2020, as rising COVID-19 cases around the world fueled fears about slower fuel demand while a surprise buildup in US gasoline stocks exacerbated pressures.
Brent crude was down 87 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $67.36 a barrel, after touching its lowest level since May 24 at $67.10 earlier in the session.
US West Texas Intermediate crude fell $1.05, or 1.6 percent, to $64.41 a barrel, after falling to $64.24, which is also the lowest level since May 24.
According to "Reuters", US crude fell more than seven percent, while Brent fell more than five percent during the wave of continuous losses for six days, the longest since a six-day decline for the two contracts, which stopped on February 28, 2020.
Prices fell as investors remained concerned about an increase in cases of the Corona virus caused by the Delta strain around the world, while deaths related to the virus rose in the United States, the world's largest oil consumer, during the past month.
Craig Erlam, chief market analyst at Oanda Europe, said in a note that the drop in oil prices was caused by slowing growth in China, the world's largest oil importer, as it imposed more restrictions due to an increase in Covid-19 infections and some weakness in US data released last week.
A sudden rise in US gasoline stocks last week also raised concerns about slowing demand, especially since the northern hemisphere summer is the time when demand for fuel is usually peaked.
The US Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday that gasoline stocks rose 696,000 barrels to 228.2 million barrels, while analysts expected a decline of 1.7 million barrels.
But the administration also said that US crude stocks fell by 3.2 million barrels last week to 435.5 million, the lowest level since January 2020.
“The peak of the summer driving season in the United States is ending soon as the peak of the summer driving season in the United States ends soon as the The country is scheduled to raise production.
"Oil prices will remain under pressure in the short term from seasonal factors and pandemic fears."