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Oil prices weighed down by rising Covid cases in Asia

U.S. crude

U.S. crude dropped 2.11% to $61.35 per barrel and Brent was at $65.33, down 1.86% on the day

Global stock indexes edged up on Wednesday as Wall Street and Europe rebounded from big declines, while oil prices continued to be weighed down by rising coronavirus cases in Asia.

Recent optimism about rising vaccination rates in the US and UK is shifting to concern that record Covid infections in India, likely restrictions in Japan and rising cases in Latin America will be a hurdle for the global economic recovery.

On Wall Street, a 7% decline in Netflix weighed on the Nasdaq but indexes were rebounding from their largest declines in a month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) added 263.99 points, or 0.78%, to 34,085.29, the S&P 500 advanced 29.08 points, or 0.70%, to 4,164.02 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 108.10 points, or 0.78%, to 13,894.37.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe advanced 0.26% and the pan-European STOXX 600 index added 0.65%.

Emerging market stocks shed 0.88%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan ended 0.95% down, while Japan’s Nikkei futures advanced 0.63% after a 2% overnight drop in the Topix.

Oil prices were weighed by concerns that surging coronavirus cases in India will drive down fuel demand in the world’s third-biggest oil importer.

Demand jitters were thrust back into the spotlight yesterday amid a sharp rise in global coronavirus cases. Nowhere is this more obvious than in India, PVM analysts said.

U.S. crude dropped 2.11% to $61.35 per barrel and Brent was at $65.33, down 1.86% on the day.

In currency markets, the dollar tumbled and was in a tight range throughout the session, not far from the more than six-week low hit intraday on Tuesday.

The dollar index shed 0.061%, with the euro down 0.06% to $1.2026.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.04% versus the greenback at 108.12 per dollar, while Sterling was trading at $1.3928, down 0.06% on the day.

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