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Oil prices slump on renewed lockdowns

By AFP - Mar 23,2021 - Last updated at Mar 23,2021

LONDON — Oil prices slumped Tuesday on lower demand prospects as Europe's biggest economy Germany said it would reimpose strict coronavirus containment measures and struggles along with other EU nations to roll out vaccines.

European stock markets were mixed and US stock indices drifted lower after sharp losses in Asia.

On currency markets, the Turkish lira stabilised a day after plunging in reaction to news that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sacked the country's market-friendly central bank chief, raising concerns about another round of financial turbulence.

Meanwhile, Germany will enter a strict shutdown for five days over Easter amid surging virus rates, Chancellor Angela Merkel and regional leaders agreed on Tuesday.

Neighbouring France should be vaccinating "morning, noon and evening", President Emmanuel Macron said as he tackles criticism that the COVID-19 immunisation drive has been too slow.

France is facing a third wave of infections but is lagging behind many Western countries in terms of the number of people vaccinated.

Events in Europe are "hurting demand projections for crude oil", noted ThinkMarkets analyst Fawad Razaqzada.

"Everything else being equal, it means that growth will be slower to pick up and inflationary pressures are likely to be weaker than previously thought."

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