[SINGAPORE] Oil prices eased in Asian trading on Wednesday after Greece missed a 1.5-billion-euro (US$1.7-billion) payment to the International Monetary Fund.
In mid-afternoon trade, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August delivery was 85 cents lower at US$58.62 while Brent crude was down 78 cents at US$62.81.
"The Greece debt crisis may have stoked concerns of a contagion effect to the eurozone, which means that we could see a drop in demand for oil on potentially weaker growth," said Bernard Aw, a market strategist at IG Markets in Singapore.
Nicholas Teo, an analyst at CMC Markets, said a stronger US dollar may have contributed to the retreat of oil prices.
Traders are also watching out for the release of US oil inventory numbers, he said.
The missed payment made cash-strapped Greece the only developed country ever to fall into default with the global crisis lender. It underscored the failure of more than five months of efforts to rescue the economy and prevent it from dropping out of the eurozone.
Oil prices had rebounded on Tuesday as Iran and six major powers extended a deadline for reaching a nuclear deal, deferring the entry of more Iranian oil into an oversupplied global market.