Oil prices decreased on Monday over the emergence of a new strain of coronavirus in the UK, which forces the country to take tough restrictions, feeding oil demand fears.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $50.83 per barrel at 0659 GMT for a 2.74% decrease after closing Friday at $52.26 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was trading concurrently at $48.39 a barrel for a 1.45% decrease after ending the previous session at $49.10 per barrel.
After last week’s gains and euphoria when Brent reached record highs not seen since March, a new Covid-19 strain was found to be rampant in London, resulting in several countries closing their borders to UK flights which caused oil price falls.
In response, London has entered tier 4 lockdowns, along with many other areas in the UK.
Tightened measures against the mutant coronavirus, which triggered fears of reduced economic activity, will also constrain oil demand and exert downward oil price pressure.
However, news about the long-awaited US stimulus package brought hope of economic recovery.
Congressional leaders announced late Sunday a long-sought-after deal on a roughly $900 billion coronavirus relief package that would provide Americans across the country with badly needed financial assistance.
By Sibel Morrow