SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices slumped to their lowest in more than a year on Friday and were set for their steepest weekly fall in more than four years as the spread of the coronavirus stokes fears of slowing global demand.
Investors are increasingly worried as the virus has spread beyond its epicentre in China to more than 40 other countries.
The most active Brent crude contract for May was down $1.42, or 2.8%, at $50.31 a barrel by 0745 GMT, a 14-month low. The front-month April contract expires later on Friday.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures (CLc1) fell $1.39, or about 3%, to $45.70 per barrel. U.S. crude has fallen about 14% for the week, the biggest weekly decline since May 2011.