Bursa O&G counters decline as oil trades below US$60 amid coronavirus outbreak

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 3): Bursa Malaysia-listed oil and gas (O&G) counters Sapura Energy Bhd and Bumi Armada Bhd declined about 4% each in mid-morning trades today as crude oil prices traded below US$60 a barrel as the coronavirus outbreak, which started in China, led to lower global oil demand concerns.

Reuters reported that oil prices extended declines on Monday, dragged down by worries about lower demand in the world's largest oil importer China following the coronavirus outbreak. It was reported that Brent and US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell for a fourth week in a row last week after airlines cancelled flights to China.

At 10:11am, Sapura Energy shares were traded one sen or 4.08% lower at 23.5 sen with some 79 million shares transacted. Bumi Armada was traded down 1.5 sen or 4.23% at 34 sen with some 59 million shares traded.

At 10:36am, Bursa's Energy Index, which tracks O&G-related share prices, was down 14.58 points or 1.27% at 1,136.66.

In crude oil markets, Reuters reported that Brent crude was at US$55.83 a barrel by 0047 GMT, down 79 cents, or 1.4%, after losing nearly 12% in January, the steepest monthly decline since November 2018, while WTI crude fell 50 cents to US$51.06 a barrel, after earlier hitting a session low of US$50.42.

"The front-month WTI price fell 15.6% in January, the biggest monthly drop since May," the newswire reported.