HONG KONG: Crude prices slipped on Monday to multi-year lows owing to a build-up in supplies while the dollar rallied in response to a strong US jobs report, as analysts warned of further losses.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for November delivery was down 18 cents at $89.56. On Friday it closed below $90 for the first time since April 2013. Brent North Sea crude eased 40 cents to $91.91, a two-year low.
While output surged in the United States owing to oil shale extraction, exports are on the rise in Russia, Libya and Kurdistan. Also, Saudi Arabia cut prices for the fourth straight month last week to defend its market share, suggesting it is unlikely to cut production any time soon.
Both Brent and New York contracts have shed about 15 percent in the past three months.
“Oil prices are likely to keep falling for the rest of the year as global supply is outstripping demand,” said Tony Nunan, oil risk manager at Mitsubishi Corp. in Tokyo.
“Supply of US shale gas alone can cover global demand this year, and unless OPEC countries reduce their production, or unless a fresh geopolitical concern occurs, the best estimate now is a bearish market,” he added.
Also depressing prices is the stronger dollar, which surged Friday after the Labor Department said the US economy created 248,000 jobs in September and the jobless rate dipped to a six-year low of 5.9 percent.
The news increased the likelihood the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates sooner than later. The greenback is sitting at six-year highs against the yen and two-year highs against the euro.
A stronger greenback makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies, which tends to dent demand and push prices lower.