No need to panic about coronavirus impact on oil markets


US Secretary of Energy, Dan Brouillette, delivers opening remarks while meeting with 17 business leaders from Confederação da Indústria Portuguesa (CIP) and the American Chamber of Commerce at the Intercontinental Hotel on February 13, 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Horacio Villalobos | Corbis via Getty Images

The U.S. energy secretary does not believe the ultimate impact of China’s fast-spreading coronavirus is a cause for concern for markets.

His comments come shortly after both OPEC and the International Energy Agency (IEA) dramatically lowered their oil demand growth forecasts this year as a result of the deadly flu-like virus.

“I think we are going to pay close attention to what is happening with the virus itself. We are still analyzing, not only the actual virus to learn more about it, but also the response to it,” Dan Brouillette told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference on Friday.

“So, we are looking to see if the Chinese government will be able to contain or at least help contain the spread of the virus. At this moment, while we are seeing some slight reductions in production as a result of the virus, we are not yet concerned about its ultimate impact.”

International benchmark Brent crude traded at $56.40 Friday morning, up around 0.1%, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stood at $51.49, around 0.15% higher.

Both crude benchmarks have fallen nearly 20% since climbing to a peak in early January, dragged…


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