Oil prices fall 2% as investors avoid risks and the dollar...

Oil prices fell 2 percent on Monday as investors increasingly dodge risks that have hurt stock markets and boosted the US dollar,

This makes crude more expensive for holders of other currencies.

The international benchmark Brent crude contracts ended the trading session as low as 1.42 dollars, or 1.9 percent, to record at the settlement of 73.92 dollars a barrel, after it plunged at its lowest level in the session to 73.52 dollars.

US West Texas Intermediate crude contracts fell $1.68, or 2.3 percent, to close at $70.29 a barrel, after falling during the session to a much lower level at $69.86.

The dollar, which is seen as a safe haven, rose as concerns about a possible bankruptcy of Chinese real estate developer Evergrande sparked panic in stock markets as investors await another step from the US Federal Reserve this week towards easing its stimulus program.

However, oil received some support from signs that some US crude production from the Gulf of Mexico will remain suspended for months due to losses caused by storms.

Artem Abramov, an energy analyst at Rystad, expects that the halted production will block 200,000-250,000 barrels per day of oil supplies from the Gulf of Mexico for a few months. The Gulf contributes about 16 percent of US oil production, or 1.8 million barrels per day.

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