Oil falls 3 percent after Austria announced the closure in the face of Corona

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Oil prices tumbled 3 percent in overnight trading on Friday after Austria announced a complete closure in the country to counter the outbreak of the Coronavirus, in a measure that raised fears of renewing restrictions across Europe.

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By 13:24 (GMT), Brent crude contracts for January delivery fell $2.46, or 3.03 percent, to $78.78 a barrel.

And US West Texas Intermediate crude contracts for January delivery fell 2.39 cents, or 3.05 percent, to about $ 76 a barrel.

The two benchmarks are at their lowest level since last September 26 for Brent and early October for US crude.

Austria announced on Friday that it will impose a closure that includes all residents, preventing them from leaving their homes except to purchase basic needs.

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Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said in a press conference broadcast by local media that the closure will start from Monday for a period of 20 days, with an evaluation of the epidemiological situation every 10 days.

He added that, according to the new procedures, vaccination against corona “will become mandatory as of the beginning of next February.”

He continued, “Despite working for months, we have not succeeded in convincing enough people to receive vaccinations, the only way out of this vicious cycle is by sustainably increasing the vaccination rate.”

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Germany also announced new restrictions, including the cancellation of all Christmas markets in Bavaria, in light of the high number of Corona infections across Europe.