Oil Prices Slip

Oil Prices SlipOil Prices Slip

Oil prices fell on Monday, weighed down by gloomy economic prospects in Europe and Asia and a related strengthening in the US dollar, which makes fuel imports for countries using other currencies more expensive.

Brent crude oil futures fell to $50.02 per barrel, down 52 cents, after trading as low as $49.80. US crude was down 55 cents at $48.52 a barrel, Reuters reported.

The softening comes a week after crude prices hit 2016 highs on the back of a quicker-than-expected rebalancing in physical oil markets.

Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said rising worries that Britain will vote later this month to leave the European Union, which sent stocks spiraling lower on Monday, could also erase more of oil's recent gains.

The dollar has risen 1.2% from June lows against a basket of currencies, lifted by Brexit worries, concerns over Asia's economy and the prospect of a potential hike in US interest rates. There are also concerns about faltering growth in China, largely due to industrial overcapacity and spiraling debt.

Even the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, while forecasting that the world oil market would be in better balance in the second half of 2016, warned there is "still a massive global supply overhang".