Brent crude oil was down at the start the week on Monday as the global oil market awaits U.S. President Donald Trump's call for intervention in the Saudi-Russian price war.
The international benchmark was trading at $26.34 per barrel at 0605 GMT for a 2.4% decline after ending Friday at $26.98 a barrel with a 5.2% loss.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $22.91 a barrel at the same time for a 2.1% gain after closing Friday at $22.43 per barrel with an 11% dive.
Trump said at a White House press conference on Thursday that he would intervene in the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia "at the appropriate time," after the two countries failed at the OPEC+ meeting in Vienna, Austria on March 6 to further cut the group's oil production level.
Riyadh and Moscow announced the following week that they would ramp up their oil production levels, igniting a price war for a larger market share and subsequently caused further price declines.
Brent crude hit as low as $24.52 per barrel on March 18 to mark its lowest level since May 8, 2003, according to official data. WTI fell as low as $19.46 a barrel on March 19 -- its lowest level since Feb. 7, 2002.
On the demand side, the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to suppress overall oil consumption and crude demand around the world.
By Ovunc Kutlu