NEW YORK CITY: Oil prices fell again on Thursday (Friday in Manila) in a glum market as the global oversupply of crude oil looked entrenched and demand prospects weak.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for September delivery fell 49 cents to $44.66 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, closing below $45 for the first time since March. The WTI contract was now barely $1 above its lowest closing level in six years.
Brent North Sea crude for September, the international benchmark, closed at $49.52 a barrel in London, down seven cents from the day before.
“Oil just can’t seem to get a break right now because we’re seeing a whole lot of overall negativity about the demand outlook, with the fears the Fed is going to raise interest rates and concerns about demand in China,” said Phil Flynn of Price Futures Group.
“Oil prices are acting like the market is fearful the [oversupply]won’t go away,” he added.
The crude glut is largely responsible for the roughly 50 percent decline in oil prices since mid-2014. The United States is producing crude at high levels and output by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) continues to exceed the cartel’s quota of 30 million barrels per day.