Oil prices fell further to hit two-week lows on Tuesday amid concerns over demand from key consumer China.
Surging Covid-19 cases in China fueled concerns about slower demand while ceasefire talks between Russia and Ukraine eased fears of further supply disruptions.
Brent crude futures for May delivery plunged 5.8 percent to $100.68 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for April settlement were down 5.9 percent at $97 a barrel.
Companies from Apple supplier Foxconn to automakers Toyota and Volkswagen suspended some operations as multiple Chinese cities and provinces tightened restrictions in line with Beijing’s zero-tolerance goal of suppressing contagion as quickly as possible.
Nearly 30 million people have been put under lockdown across China today, as surging virus cases prompted the return of mass tests and hazmat-suited health officials to city streets on a scale not seen since the start of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, expectations of positive developments in the Russia-Ukraine ceasefire talks eased fears of further supply disruptions.
U.S. officials reportedly indicated that Russia sent signals of its readiness to engage in deep talks about a ceasefire deal.
U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to meet NATO leaders in Brussels next week to discuss the Ukraine war, news agency Reuters reported citing sources.