Oil steadied to hover near an eight-week low on Tuesday amid concerns about the impact on demand from the spread of COVID-19 variants worldwide.
Brent crude futures for September delivery slipped 0.2 percent to $68.50 a barrel, after having slumped 6.8 percent on Monday.
U.S. crude futures for August settlement, which expire later today, were up 0.6 percent at $66.84 a barrel. The September U.S. crude contract was down 0.1 percent at $66.30.
Monday’s selloff was driven by concerns about oversupply in the market after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, collectively known as OPEC+, agreed to boost output.
The demand outlook is also turning darker due to the rapidly spreading delta variant of the coronavirus and fresh restrictions on movements in several countries across the world.
The Delta coronavirus variant is now the dominant strain worldwide, with U.S. officials suggesting local restrictions may have to be re-imposed in response to the pandemic.
The U.S. has warned citizens to not travel to the U.K. and Indonesia amid an increase in infections there.
The state of South Australia today re-introduced widespread restrictions after new confirmed cases were reported in the community.