Crude oil prices, under pressure from supply and demand factors

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Por Bozorgmehr Sharafedin

LONDON, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Crude prices rose slightly on Monday, but remained pressured by rising COVID-19 cases in Europe and a possible release of oil reserves in Japan, raising concerns about a glut supply and a weak demand.

* Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude prices lost more than $ 1 in early trading, falling to their lowest level since October 1.

* At 1110 GMT, Brent was up 2 cents, or 0.03%, at $ 79.91 a barrel, while WTI was up 4 cents, or 0.05%, at $ 75.97 a barrel.

* The prospect of national lockdowns in Europe has raised concerns about economic growth and oil demand, said Tamas Varga, an analyst at London-based brokerage PVM Oil Associates.

* Investors sought refuge in the safety of assets such as the dollar early in the session, which contributed to the sharp drop in crude prices, Varga added.

* The dollar was trading near a 16-month high against the euro on Monday, making the price of crude in the greenback more expensive for buyers of other currencies.

* Also, the possible release of crude from strategic oil reserves (SPR) kept pressure on the price of crude, leaving Brent below the psychologically important mark of $ 80.

* Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Saturday that he is ready to help with efforts to combat rising oil prices following a request by the United States to release crude from its reserves.

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