Global crude prices traded lower Monday amid an anticipated increase in U.S. supply and modest advance for dollar in foreign exchange markets.
WTI futures for March delivery fell just under 2% from Friday's close to trade at $52.91 per barrel, while Brent contracts for the same month slid 1.37% to $55.95.
The moves follow a better-than-expected figures from Baker Hughes (BHI) last week, which saidU.S. oil companies added 4 rigs over the past seven days, adding to a 10th consecutive weekly build. The net addition comes mainly from west Texas' prolific Permian Basin, where a number of assets traded hands in the final months of 2016.
The activity also follows a larger-than-expected draw on domestic crude oil inventories during the frame. The EIA said crude inventories decreased by 7.1 million barrels for the week ending Dec. 30, 2016. However, at 479 million barrels, domestic inventories remain near the upper limit of the average range for this time of year, the EIA said.
Traders were also said to be eyeing data from Reuters, which indicated that the amount of crude Iran holds in tankers around the world fell by 13 million barrels, to 16.4 million, as it attempts to take advantage of its exemption from OPEC production cuts by luring new customers and gaining market share.
The dollar also influenced prices as it resumed its bullish tenor in European trading, although gains were somewhat limited, with the dollar index, a measure of the greenback's strength against a basket of six global currencies, adding 0.1% to trade at 102.30.