Oil prices slip amid demand worries

NEW YORK, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices sank on Wednesday amid concerns over weak demand in the wake of the pandemic.

The West Texas Intermediate for December delivery slipped 1.67 U.S. dollars to settle at 40.03 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for December delivery decreased 1.43 dollars to 41.73 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

The moves came as COVID-19 cases in some major economies including the United States and Europe continued to increase.

"Concerns about demand amid record-high numbers of new COVID-19 cases and the possible restrictions to mobility that these may entail are soon likely to dominate what happens on the oil market," Eugen Weinberg, energy analyst at Commerzbank Research, said in a note Wednesday.

Prices were also under pressure after data showed U.S. crude stockpiles fell less than expected last week.

U.S. crude oil inventories decreased by 1.0 million barrels during the week ending Oct. 16, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on Wednesday.

Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts expected the EIA to report a drop of 1.9 million barrels in U.S. crude supplies for the week.

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