By Bryan Wong
Investing.com- Oil was down on Monday morning in Asia as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb in countries around the world.
Brent oil futures slid 0.67% to $42.83 by 9:49 PM ET (2:49 AM GMT) and WTI futures dropped 0.66% to $40.48.
The number of cases around the world is closing in on 14.5 million with the number of deaths surpassing 600,000, according to John Hopkins University data. This continuous rise is cases may be dampening investor hopes that demand for oil will recover.
In the U.S., one of the largest oil consumers in the world, COVID-19 deaths just surpassed 140,000, with California, Texas, and New York the hardest hit states.
In Asia, Australia is struggling to contain the virus. Even with a lockdown in place, Melbourne reported 363 new cases and three new deaths. Premier Daniel Andrews announced that face masks will be made mandatory across Melbourne.
In Hong Kong, a city that had been seen as a model for the effective containment of the virus, cases soared. The city recorded its biggest one-day increase since the pandemic started. At a press conference on Sunday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that there were 108 new infections. The city has reimposed restrictions and plans to tighten them further.