Oil prices continued to trade lower on demand concerns and ended the week at three-month low level, as the Covid-19 delta variant spreads across the globe, forcing governments to introduce movement restrictions and other preventive measures. Brent, the international benchmark for two-thirds of the world’s oil, shed $1.27 (-1.97 percent) to reach $65.18 a barrel. Similarly, the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) reached $62.14, down by $1.36 (-2.14 percent). The prices for both benchmarks, Brent and WTI, have hit the current level for the first time since May 20. The price for Opec Basket was recorded at $66.08 a barrel with 4.78 percent decrease, Arab Light was available at $67.77 a barrel with 0.86 percent decrease, while the price of Russian Sokol slipped to $66.45 after shedding 0.76 percent. The major factor weighing on oil prices is the rising Covid worries and news of measures being taken to avoid a further contagion worldwide. Even the latest drawback in the US inventories couldn’t give a smile to the oil bulls, while the US inventories declined more than 3 million barrels last week, more than twice as much as the 1.5 million barrels pencilled in by analysts. Coronavirus infections are continuing to climb around the world. The spread of the highly contagious Delta variant in countries with low vaccination rates is driving transmission of Covid-19, the World Health Organisation said. On the other hand, the US Dollar Index rallied upwards to 0.1 percent, its highest mark since April. As crude oil is priced in dollars, oil prices move opposite to the dollar index. So, when the US dollar appreciates in value, oil becomes more expensive for international buyers. This pushes oil prices down with the appreciation of the US dollar. The International Energy Agency (IEA) also cut its demand forecast for oil for the rest of 2021 due to the more virulent Delta strain, which may lead to renewed lockdowns in certain parts of the world and affect energy consumption. Demand for the second half of the year has been lowered by more than 500,000 barrels per day from last month’s projection. Global oil demand is now expected to rise 5.3 million barrels per day on average to 96.2 million bpd in 2021, and a further 3.2 million bpd in 2022, the IEA said.