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Crude lifted by Iran-US tension but virus impact hits stocks

Crude lifted by Iran-US tension but virus impact hits stocks

Economy
US oil prices were set to end a historically bad week on a positive note, extending gains Friday owing to rising Iran-US tensions, though equities edged down following a series of crushing economic data. As the rates of infection and deaths linked to the coronavirus show signs of easing in some countries thanks to draconian lockdowns, a fuller picture of the extent of its economic impact was beginning to emerge. Purchasing managers indexes — which gauge activity in countries’ factory and service sectors — came in at either lows not seen in decades or in history, highlighting the huge battle governments face in averting an extensive, painful depression. The readings came as the US said 4.4 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week, taking the total virus-fuelled j...