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Oil slips as India’s COVID surge dents outlook

Key importer reports record deaths

Oil prices fell for a second day on Wednesday, heading for their biggest daily drop in more than two weeks and weighed down by concerns that surging COVID-19 cases in India will drive down fuel demand in the world’s third-biggest oil importer.

Brent crude futures for June declined $1.14, or 1.7%, to $65.43 a barrel at 12:50 GMT.

“Demand jitters were thrust back into the spotlight yesterday amid a sharp rise in global coronavirus cases,” PVM analysts said. “Nowhere is this more obvious than in India.”

India, also the world’s third-largest oil user, on Wednesday reported another record increase in the daily death toll from COVID-19.

Raising the possibility of further oil supply, Iran and world powers have made headway in talks to save a 2015 nuclear accord.

Still, major oil trading companies are stowing diesel and jet fuel on newly built supertankers in Asia and Africa in anticipation of COVID-19 vaccinations driving prices higher in the months ahead.

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