Crude oil prices rise on short-covering despite growing fears over coronavirus :=

Crude oil prices edged up on Wednesday as investors covered short positions after three sessions of losses, even as fears deepened that the rapid spread of the coronavirus will lead to a global pandemic.

Brent crude rose 42 cents, or 0.8 per cent, to $55.37 a barrel by 0154 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate crude gained 43 cents, or 0.9 per cent, to $50.33 a barrel. Still, both benchmarks are down nearly 7 per cent since last Thursday’s close.

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