Oil slides to lowest since 2003 as Iran sanctions lifted

TOKYO - Brent and US crude futures fell to the lowest since 2003 in Asian trading on Monday as the market braced for a jump in Iranian oil exports following the lifting of the sanctions at the weekend.

Iran is ready to increase its crude exports by 500,000 barrels a day, the deputy oil minister said on Sunday, hours after international sanctions on Tehran were lifted, removing an obstacle to exports.

London Brent crude for March delivery was down US$1.14 (S$1.64) at US$27.80 a barrel by 2333 GMT, after touching an intraday low of US$27.70 earlier, the lowest since Nov. 25, 2003.

NYMEX crude for February delivery was down 86 cents at US$28.56 a barrel, after falling more than $1 earlier to US$28.36, the lowest since Oct. 30, 2003.

Wall Street bled on Friday, with the S&P 500 sinking to its lowest since October 2014 as oil prices sank below US$30 per barrel and fears grew about economic trouble in China.

The safe-haven yen got off to a flying start on Monday, while the Australian dollar, usually sold off in times of market stress, stayed under pressure as Asian equities geared up for a torrid session following a big selloff on Wall Street.