Oil prices dropped on Thursday as fresh restrictions to avoid a surge in coronavirus infections have increased discouragement over the outlook of the economic growth and a recovery in fuel demand.

Brent crude futures plummeted by 70 cents, or 1.6% to $42.62 a barrel at 0905 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped 69 cents, or 1.7%, to $40.35. 

Certain European countries are bringing back curfews and lockdowns to try to contain the increase in new coronavirus cases, with Britain expected to force firmer coronavirus restrictions on London from midnight on Friday.

A third of France’s population has been put under nightly lockdown to battle rising infections.