Brent crude oil futures are down 32 cents, trading at $72.57 per barrel, and US West Texas Intermediate crude fell about 55 cents, reaching $70.70 at noon eastern time. Concerns over the spread of the Delta variant in the United States and China, the top oil consumers, weighed on prices, with both benchmarks falling more than 3% on Monday.
Both Brent and U.S. crude had risen more than 60 cents earlier in the session. Despite recent fluctuations, Brent has risen more than 40% this year, helping the earnings of oil firms. However, the news flow out of China has been bearish since the weekend. The Delta variant is storming around the globe, putting a speed hump in the economic recovery process. The expectation for oil demand fell as the supply remained at a high level after the last OPEC+ meeting.
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