Oil prices fell on Monday after data showed weakening imports and exports in China, the world's second-largest oil consumer, raising the prospect of a slowdown in fuel demand.
China's exports fell by the most in two years in December while imports contracted, official figures showed, pointing to further weakness in what is also the world's second-largest economy.
Monday's losses accelerated sharply heading into the settlement for major crude benchmarks.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell $1.48, or 2.5 percent, to $59 a barrel around 2:30 p.m. ET, trading as low as $59.37 intraday. U.S. crude ended Monday's session down $1.08, or 2.1 percent, at $50.51.
"Both imports and exports disappointed expectations and are set to revive fears about a global growth slowdown," said Norbert Ruecker, head of macro and commodity research at Swiss bank Julius Baer.