Oil prices fell about one percent on Friday, as they are under pressure due to growing concerns about fuel demand as the Coronavirus epidemic is spreading outside China, while it seems that the major crude producers are not in a hurry to cut production to support the market.
Brent crude fell 64 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $ 58.67 a barrel by 07:03 GMT, while US crude fell 54 cents, or one percent, to $ 53.34 a barrel.
And it became the fourth largest city in South Korea, the latest point of spread of the virus, as the streets were empty of passers-by and residents stayed home after an infection that infected dozens of what the authorities described as a "major outbreak" in a church.
Singapore and Japan are about to stagnate, and the epidemic will be a major focus of the talks during the G20 finance ministers meeting early next week.
In China itself, the largest importer of crude oil, the number of new infections has also increased today compared to the previous day even as Beijing continues to make efforts to contain the virus that has largely paralyzed the world's second-largest economy.
On Thursday, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that global energy producers realize that it no longer makes sense for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies to meet ahead of schedule in early March.
The group is known as OPEC + has been curbing market supplies to support prices for several years now, and many analysts expect to extend or deepen production restrictions.
Moscow said it will disclose its position in the coming days.
The pressure on oil prices was reinforced by the fact that the US dollar rose as investors sought safe havens. A rise in the dollar would usually increase the cost of oil, as crude is usually priced in the US currency.