Tokyo — Oil prices fell to their lowest level in seven weeks on Thursday, sliding more than 1% on concern that the spread of a respiratory virus from China may lower fuel demand if it stunts economic growth in an echo of the SARS epidemic nearly 20 years ago.

Brent crude futures were down 82, or 1.3%, to $62.39 a barrel by 4am GMT, and earlier dropped to the lowest since December 4 after falling 2.1% the previous session...

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