Oil prices edged lower on Monday on demand fears from the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown in China and easing supply concerns after some oil-producing countries announced the release of a record quantity of oil from their emergency reserves.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $100.82 per barrel at 0640 GMT for a 1.90% decrease after closing the previous session at $102.78 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $96.12 per barrel at the same time for a 2.18% loss after the previous session closed at $98.26 a barrel.
The worsening COVID-19 outbreak in China exerted downward pressure on prices.
As many countries are gradually easing COVID-19 mandates, China, in line with its zero-covid strategy, has put almost 28 million people under strict lockdown in Shanghai. The country on Sunday reported 1,351 confirmed coronavirus infections, including nine in Shanghai.
Last week, authorities extended the lockdown and restrictions in the city for an indefinite period, and are continuing a citywide campaign to test millions of residents.
Meanwhile, prices also came under pressure since International Energy Agency (IEA) member countries on Thursday confirmed the largest-ever oil release from their emergency stocks in response to significant oil market strains.
The IEA's latest decision to use 120 million barrels of oil from emergency stockpiles came after the agency's collective emergency oil release on March 1 of 62.7 million barrels.
Earlier in April, US President Joe Biden also announced the release of 180 million barrels, or 1 million barrels per day for six months, to drive down prices at the pump and 'ease the pain that families are feeling.'
Investors will monitor supply and demand data from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Tuesday and the IEA on Wednesday.
OPEC had earlier said it would stop using IEA data to assess compliance with its production quotas.
OPEC agreed to replace IEA data with consultancy Wood Mackenzie and Rystad Energy as secondary sources while assessing the crude production levels of member countries.
By Sibel Morrow