Economy

Oil prices hover around multi-week lows on demand worries

Oil prices hover around multi-week lows on demand worries”

Oil prices fell on Thursday, at one point touchig their lowest since early August as US unemployment data fed fears of a slow recovery for the economy and fuel demand a day after weak USA gasoline demand data.

The American Petroleum Institute reported crude inventories dropped by 6.36 million barrels last week, according to people familiar with the figures.

Brent crude futures climbed 49 cents or 1.1 per cent to $45.77 a barrel at 0406 GMT.

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for October delivery dropped 1.6 USA dollars to settle at 39.77 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Both benchmarks fell more than 2% on Wednesday, with WTI sliding to its lowest close in almost four weeks and Brent at its weakest since August 21. US private employers hired fewer workers than expected for a second straight month in August, suggesting the labor market recovery was slowing as the COVID-19 pandemic persists and government support for workers and employers dries up.

"This has been the summer driving season that wasn't", said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC. "We need to see economic activity back up to get demand flowing".

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Futures prices turned negative after weekly government data from showed lower gasoline demand from a week earlier, prompting traders to shrug off bullish USA crude inventory data.

"The bigger market picture is overall bearish sentiment that kicked off with lower gasoline demand reports on Wednesday", said Paola Rodriguez-Masiu, analyst at Rystad Energy.

Domestic production sank to 1.1M bpd to 9.7M bpd.

Refinitiv said August-loading barrels destined for China were 7.93 million bpd, down from 8.2 million bpd in July and well down from the second quarter average of 11.87 million bpd.

Money managers raised their net long U.S. crude futures and options positions by 541 contracts to 334,983 during the period in the week to September 1, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.



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