Crude oil prices hit their lowest level in six months on Monday as coronavirus outbreak worries investors that global oil demand would be low in the first quarter of this year.
Price of Brent crude was trading at $56.27 per barrel at 0620 GMT for a 3.25% loss after ending Friday at $58.16 a barrel. The international benchmark hit as low as $55.44 a barrel earlier Monday.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $51.55 a barrel at the same time, not much changed from Friday's close when it lost 1.1%. WTI fell as much as to $50.59 per barrel earlier Monday.
With recent losses, both benchmarks hit their lowest level since Aug. 7, 2019, according to official data.
The death toll in China from the novel coronavirus outbreak climbed to 361, according to the country's National Health Commission (NHC) on Monday.
As the coronavirus outbreak that originated in China spreads throughout the world, economic growth forecast and oil demand expectations, especially in China and Asian economies, are lowered, analysts said.
By Ovunc Kutlu