Oil prices declined more than 2% on Tuesday, extending the prior session’s sharp losses.
At around 06:45 AM GMT, WTI crude plunged 2.4% to $46.84 a barrel, while Brent crude dipped 2.1% to $49.85 a barrel.
Traders were nervous that a mutant strain of the COVID-19 in the UK could spread to the rest of the world rapidly and lead to tougher and longer lockdown measures.
Meantime, more than 40 countries reportedly have already banned arrivals from the UK. Limiting the falls were a deal on a long-awaited US fiscal stimulus, and reports that the European Medicines Agency has granted the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine a conditional marketing authorization on Monday.