Oil prices fall amid renewed banking fears

NEW YORK, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices decreased on Friday, but managed to notch a gain for the week.

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for May delivery dropped 70 cents, or 1 percent, to settle at 69.26 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for May delivery lost 92 cents, or 1.21 percent, to close at 74.99 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

The decline came as traders continued to focus on the banking industry.

Shares of Deutsche Bank were under considerable pressure after a spike in the cost of insuring against its default. It reignited concerns over the health of the U.S. and European banking sectors.

For the week, the WTI rose 3.5 percent, while Brent increased 2.8 percent, based on the front-month contracts.

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