Oil prices are struggling to recover from last week's drop, and recent news out of the Middle East has now furthered declines.
OPEC member countries Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates cut ties with Qatar on Monday. They were joined by Bahrain, and Egypt. This comes after a slide in oil prices following the US withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord last week.
A Saudi official said the move was a response to "gross violations committed by authorities in Qatar over the past years," according to an AFP report.
The end of diplomatic relations comes nearly two weeks after Donald Trump's visit to the region. After the President left the region, Qatari's state news agency published quotes from Qatari's president criticizing Trump's policy toward Iran, and spoke highly of Iran, referring to it as an "Islamic power."
These comments counter a consensus of neighboring countries, most of which disagree with Iran's nuclear program and influence in the region. Qatar has claimed the controversial quotes were the result of a hack of the news agency.
Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State, issued a statement of support for diplomatic assistance to the nations, saying it is important the countries "remain unified."
The price of West Texas Intermediate, a US-based measure of oil prices, is down nearly a percent in early Monday trading. Brent oil prices is down 0.68%.
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