Oil prices fall amid worries over new coronavirus strain

Oil prices fall amid worries over new coronavirus strain

Oil prices slid in early trade on Monday as a fast-spreading new coronavirus strain in the United Kingdom raised concerns that tighter restrictions there and in other European countries could stall recovery in the global economy and its need for fuel.

Brent crude dropped 97 cents, or 1.9%, to $51.29 a barrel by 0103 GMT after rising 1.5% and touching its highest since March last Friday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 83 cents, or 1.7%, to $48.27 a barrel after also climbing 1.5% on Friday to its highest level since February.

Monday's declines came after oil prices marked seven straight weeks of gains last week as investors focused on the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.