Oil falls amid surging coronavirus infections in India, other countries

Brent crude was down 43 cents, or 0.6%, at $66.34 a barrel

  
The chimneys of the Total Grandpuits oil refinery are seen just after sunset, southeast of Paris, France, March 1, 2021. Image used for illustrative purpose.

The chimneys of the Total Grandpuits oil refinery are seen just after sunset, southeast of Paris, France, March 1, 2021. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

TOKYO: Oil prices fell on Monday amid mounting concerns that surging caseloads of coronavirus infections in India and other countries will lead to stronger measures and hit economic activity, along with demand for commodities such as crude.

Brent crude was down 43 cents, or 0.6%, at $66.34 a barrel by 0139 GMT, after rising 6% last week. U.S. oil was down 42 cents, or 0.7%, at $62.71 a barrel, having gained 6.4% last week.

"With ... a resurgence of virus cases in India and Japan, topside ambitions continue to run into walls of profit-taking," said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at Axi.

India reported 261,500 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, taking cases to nearly 14.8 million, second only to the United States, which has reported more than 31 million infections. 

India's deaths from COVID-19 rose by a record 1,501 to reach a total of 177,150.

Hong Kong will suspend flights from India, Pakistan and the Philippines from April 20 due to imported coronavirus infections, authorities said in a statement late on Sunday. 

Japanese companies believe the world's third-largest economy will experience a fourth round of coronavirus infections, with many bracing for a further blow to business, a Reuters monthly poll showed. 

Japan has had far fewer COVID-19 cases than many other major economies, but concerns about a new wave of infections are rising fast, according to their responses in the poll.

A slower rollout of vaccinations compared with other Group of Seven advanced countries and the lack of a sense of crisis among the public will trigger a new wave of infections, some companies wrote in the poll.

(Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Michael Perry) ((aaron.sheldrick@thomsonreuters.com; 81-80-2677-4134;))

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