Crude oil futures edged lower to Rs 2,978 per barrel on October 19 as participants increased their short position as seen by the open interest. Crude oil prices declined on worries that fuel demand could take a hit after a spike in COVID-19 cases in the US and Europe.

The number of rigs drilling crude oil in the US rose by 12 to 205 for the week ended October 16, said Baker Hughes in a weekly report.

Prices were also weighed down after last week’s meeting of the OPEC+ Joint Technical Committee reported a gloomier fuel demand outlook because of fears of a prolonged second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Market participants will keep an eye on OPEC+ JMC meet later today for any further cues.

West Texas Intermediate crude was down 0.71 percent quoting at $40.83 per barrel, while Brent crude, the London-based international benchmark eased 0.75 percent to $42.61 per barrel.