International oil prices have continued to nosedive over the past few days amid an increase in new cases of coronavirus outside China.
West Texas Intermediate, the New York-traded benchmark for US crude plunged 16%, standing at $44.76 per barrel on Friday.
Brent, the London-traded global benchmark for crude, has nosedived by 14%, its lowest since July 2017, closing at $50.52 a barrel earlier this week.
Separately, shares of the US-based oil and gas company Exxon Mobil shrank to $49.82 on Thursday, while Chevron Corporation shares hit their lowest level in almost four years on Friday.
Oil prices slide on demand concerns as corona virus spreads globally.— email@example.com (@nottootechymai1) February 24, 2020
With oil trading you really have to master your size positioning.
WTI dropped almost $3.. pic.twitter.com/aax77PDob8
The developments were preceded on Monday by WTI falling by $2.47, or 4.6 percent, to $50.91 per barrel, while Brent fell by $2.81, or 4.9 percent, to $55.13 per barrel.
Brent oil had seen a 20 percent loss for the month before last week when prices rebounded as traders became upbeat that the coronavirus, which has killed more than 2,600 and infected 80,000 wouldn't continue spreading outside China.
The situation, however, changed after South Korea reported on Monday that it has registered 833 cases with seven people succumbing to the virus, becoming second hardest-hit country after China.
Experts identified the disease as a new coronavirus after Chinese authorities informed the World Health Organisation (WHO) about an outbreak of an unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan on 31 December 2019. Cases of infection outside China have been recorded in 51 countries, with the number of people infected reaching 4,691, with the death toll currently standing at 67.