Brent crude was 84 cents, or 1.2% lower, at $67.22 a barrel by 1016 GMT, the last day of trading for the front-month June contract. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for June was at $64.04 a barrel, down 97 cents, or 1.4%.
Prices also came under pressure after China's factory activity growth slowed and missed forecasts in April, although a private sector survey showed that Japan's factory activity expanded in April at the fastest pace since early 2018. post-COVID-19 demand recovery is still uneven and the surge in Indian cases serves as a timely reminder that any rally to $70 is too premature," Energy Aspects analysts said in a note.
Such a level is likely to be reached only in the third quarter this year, when demand improves materially and destocking ends, they said.
The world's third largest oil consumer is in deep crisis, with hospitals and morgues overwhelmed, as the number of COVID-19 cases topped 18 million on Thursday. surging infection numbers and renewed mobility-restricting measures have "forced us to revise down Indian gasoline and gasoil demand" estimates for 2021, said JBC Energy's senior analyst Eugene Lindell. is on track to gain around 7% in April while WTI could end around 8% higher.
That would be their fifth monthly gain in six as global demand has almost returned to pre-pandemic levels on the back of fiscal stimulus and the easing of virus lockdowns in some countries, while production cuts from OPEC and their allies including Russia eased crude oil oversupply.