Oil Futures End Lower, But Hold Above $53 a Barrel

By Myra P. SaefongMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Oil futures fell Monday to mark their lowest settlement of the month so far, but held ground above $53 a barrel. Concerns over the potential for a sizable increase in U.S. output put pressure on prices, but tension between the U.S. and Iran, the possibility that the U.S. government will ease some restrictions on energy companies, and data showing declines in global crude output provided some support. March West Texas Intermediate crude fell 82 cents, or 1.5%, to settle at $53.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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