Oil rigs are seen at Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas drilling, in the Patagonian province of Neuquen, Argentina January 21, 2019. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian/File Photo
Reuters - June 13, 2022

SINGAPORE, June 13 (Reuters) - Oil prices slid on Monday as a flare-up in COVID-19 cases in Beijing quelled hopes for a rapid pick-up in China's fuel demand, while worries about global inflation and sluggish economic growth further depressed the market.

Brent crude futures fell $1.81, or 1.48%, to $120.20 a barrel by 0443 GMT while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $118.81 a barrel, down $1.86, or 1.54%. Both contracts dropped over $2 earlier in the session.

Prices fell after Chinese officials warned on Sunday of a "ferocious" COVID-19 spread in the capital and announced plans to conduct mass testing in Beijing until Wednesday.

"China remains the significant near-term downside risk, but most view the gradual normalisation of Chinese demand as a powerful positive for oil despite the potential for lockdown noise in the coming weeks as current demand is far from reflecting normal conditions," Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a note.

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