Oil Prices Lower as Greece Imposes Capital Controls

Oil prices fell in early Asian trade, with U.S. crude dropping below $59 after Greece imposed capital controls as lenders refused to extend the country’s bailout.  Brent crude for August delivery LCOc1 was down 81 cents at $62.45 a barrel by 0300 GMT, after rising 6 cents to $63.26 a barrel on Friday.

U.S. crude for delivery in August CLc1 dropped 87 cents to $58.76 a barrel. It closed down 7 cents on Friday to end the week at $59.63.  Earlier on Monday U.S. crude dropped as far as $58.63.

Greece took steps to forestall growing strains on its crippled financial system on Sunday, closing banks and imposing capital controls that brought the prospect of being forced out of the eurozone into plain sight. Stock and currency markets also fell in Asia.  Banks in Greece will be closed and the stock market shut all week, and there will be a daily 60 euro limit on cash withdrawals from cash machines, which will reopen on Tuesday. Capital controls are likely to last for many months at least.