Major benchmarks are sinking due to renewed concerns over global economic health and falling energy demand © Getty Images/millraw

Oil prices slumped to their lowest levels in 15 months on Monday, as investors worry that risks in the global banking sector could accelerate a recession that will impact energy demand.

Major global benchmarks were down roughly 3% on Monday. Brent crude fell to $70.80, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) plunged to $64.68 per barrel as of 11:00 GMT.

Investors are concerned that persisting risks in the global banking sector could trigger a recession that will lead to a decline in oil demand.

The slide came despite signals that the central banks are stepping up efforts to help distressed lenders in the US and Europe.

“The upcoming OPEC meeting is another potential catalyst on the outlook for the [oil] market. Further downside risk to prices increases the probability OPEC reduces production further to support prices,” the head of commodity research at National Australia Bank, Baden Moore, said.

A ministerial committee of OPEC and major producing nations including Russia, known as OPEC+, is due to meet on April 3.

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