NEW YORK, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices dipped on Friday as traders continued to worry about weaker fuel demand amid a surging pandemic.
The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for February delivery lost 1.21 U.S. dollars to settle at 52.36 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for March delivery decreased 1.32 dollars to close at 55.10 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
The downbeat moves came despite U.S. plans for a large stimulus package.
"It is true that the 1.9 trillion U.S. dollars economic stimulus package unveiled by Biden yesterday should increase the confidence of the markets in the U.S. economy and boost hopes of increased oil demand," Eugen Weinberg, energy analyst at Commerzbank Research, said in a note on Friday.
"Nonetheless, bad news on the coronavirus front -- e.g. tougher restrictions on mobility and the fact that the number of deaths worldwide has now reached two million -- are giving rise to uncertainty," he added.
The global COVID-19 caseload has surpassed 93.6 million with related deaths exceeding 2 million as of Friday afternoon, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
For the week, the WTI eked out a gain of 0.2 percent, while Brent declined 1.6 percent, based on the front-month contracts.