Crude oil prices declined to below $98 a barrel in Asian trade on Tuesday as renewed concerns over the eurozone debt crisis weighed on the markets' sentiment.
Light sweet crude for December delivery declined 49 cents to $97.65 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange during Asian trading hours. Brent crude oil futures for December delivery gained 0.17 percent to $112.08 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange in London.
Rise in Italy and Spain’s borrowing costs prompted fresh concerns that Europe will struggle to contain its debt crisis. Italy has paid a yield of 6.29 percent for five year bonds, the highest since June 1997, and higher than the 5.32 percent, paid just one month ago.
Meanwhile a strong dollar, which made commodities more expensive, also weighed on crude. The euro declined 0.35 percent to 1.3585 against the dollar.
Investors are also closely monitoring Rome as Italy's new prime minister, Mario Monti, meets the leaders of Italy's two biggest parties, including the outgoing prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, on Tuesday, to discuss the many sacrifices needed to lead the country out of an unprecedented crisis.