Oil prices were under pressure on Thursday due to concerns that the coronavirus could hit oil demand in China and other countries. Because of the virus, for example, there could be less demand for air travel, which means that less kerosene is needed by airlines.
The price of a barrel of American oil recorded a minus of 1.6 percent on $ 55.84 on Thursday in Singapore. Brent oil dropped 1.3 percent to $ 62.38.
Goldman Sachs investment bank wrote in a report that the virus could undermine the oil demand in the run-up to the Chinese New Year. Then hundreds of millions of Chinese travel through the country to visit relatives.
Besides, there is an oversupply on the oil market, which is also putting pressure on prices.
In the meantime, the Chinese authorities have closed down the metropolis of Wuhan, where the coronavirus first appeared, to prevent further spread.
Wuhan, with around 11 million inhabitants, is a significant traffic and aviation hub in China and the rest of Asia. Several airlines have already stopped flying on Wuhan.