Oil prices turned sharply lower in thin trading on Monday, as the geopolitical concerns that underpinned last week’s rally faded.
International oil prices had risen towards $70 a barrel in overnight trading, lifted by a drop in drilling activity in the United States and concerns that Washington could reintroduce sanctions against Iran, OPEC’s third biggest oil producer.
Brent crude futures were down 83 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $68.51 per barrel by 9:57 a.m. ET (1357 GMT), slipping further from its 2018 high of $71.28 reached on Jan. 25.
U.S. WTI crude futures fell $1.13, or 1.7 percent, to $63.81 a barrel, after finishing the first quarter up 7.5 percent.