LONDON, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Monday as rising COVID-19 cases in Europe and a potential release of Japanese oil reserves raised concerns about both oversupply and weak demand.
Brent crude was down 56 cents, or 0.7%, at $78.33 a barrel at 1157 GMT and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 54 cents, or 0.7%, to $75.40.
The prospect of national lockdowns in Europe has raised concerns about economic and oil demand growth, said Tamas Varga, oil analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.
Investors sought safe havens such as the dollar early in the session, contributing to the sharp decline in oil prices, Varga added.
Tens of thousands of people, many of them far-right supporters, protested in Vienna on Saturday after the Austrian government announced a new lockdown. Germany could also impose fresh curbs, with politicians debating a lockdown for unvaccinated people.
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