Oil futures also fell. US oil fell 2% during Asian trading hours on Friday, extending Thursday’s 8% drop. West Texas Intermediate was finally trading at $ 35.61 a barrel. Brent crude, the global benchmark, fell 1.1% to $ 38.10 a barrel, extending Thursday’s decline of 7.6%.
The losses came after US stocks fell on Thursday, marking their worst day since March 16.
The epidemic has already caused unemployment to rise in the United States with parts of the economy closed. A second wave of infection may force many companies to close again after reopening them.
“The fear of a high incidence of Covid-19 is the most important driver in our view of this sale,” wrote Tai Hue, chief strategist for the Asian market at JP Morgan Asset Management, in a research note published on Friday.
Meanwhile, oil markets are responding to concerns about escalating infections in the world’s largest oil consumer economy, according to Stephen Ennis, chief global strategist at AxiCorp.
He added that the recent negative sentiment was “aggravated” by the comments of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who warned on Wednesday that the country’s economic future is largely uncertain.
Anken Taby and Tammy Lohbe contributed to this report.