Here’s the chart that has the oil market spooked today

Covid variants could slow the reopening

Brazil covid deaths

This is the latest chart of covid deaths in Brazil. As you can see, it’s an utter calamity with 1200 people dying per day and 331,000 dead overall.

Time was out with a story on the weekend titled ‘the week Brazil went off the rails’ as politics takes another ugly turn there and cases continue to rise.

If it were Brazil alone though, the oil market surely wouldn’t care. The problem is that the Brazilian variant appears to be particularly nasty, with some estimates saying it’s 2.5x more-transmissible and much more deadly, particularly among younger people.

It, along with other variants, are causing another wave in the virus that’s causing wide shutdowns. The US and UK are likely to remain immune because of higher vaccination rates, but it will curb global activity and driving. Even in the US, though, the CDC was just out warning that US cases are up 7% week-over-week.

Combine less driving with a surprise increase in OPEC+ supply and the oil market is having a tough day. WTI is down $2.17 to $59.26.

WTI crude hourly

Watch for stops if last week’s lows near $58.80 break.

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