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Oil falls 1% as demand fears outweigh hopes for bigger OPEC+ cuts

Oil prices sank about 1% on Tuesday as fears that energy demand would take a long-term hit from the growing coronavirus outbreak outweighed hopes for more production cuts from OPEC and its allies.

Brent crude settled at $53.96 a barrel, sliding 49 cents, or 0.9%, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude settled at $49.61 a barrel, losing 50 cents, or 1%. Both benchmarks were at their lowest since January 2019.

“I think the fear of demand destruction continues to really have the market by its throat,” said Gene McGillian, vice president of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.