Oil prices fell 4 percent on Tuesday after reports of swelling inventories and forecasts of record U.S. and Russian output combined with a sharp sell-off in stock markets as the outlook for global growth deteriorated.
U.S. crude oil dropped $2.04, or 4.1 percent, to a low of $47.84, its weakest since September 2017, before recovering to around $48.55 by 1140 GMT.
North Sea Brent crude lost $2.41, or 4.0 percent, to $57.20, a 14-month low. It last traded around $58.21, down $1.40.
Both crude oil benchmarks have shed more than 30 percent since early October due to swelling global inventories.
World stock markets tumbled on Tuesday as fears about a slowing global economy gripped investors, just as the U.S. Federal Reserve looked set this week to deliver its fourth interest-rate hike of the year.
Germany’s Ifo economic institute said its business climate index fell for the fourth month in a row to its lowest in over two years, adding to the worries about global growth.
Japan’s Nikkei lost 1.8 percent after U.S. stocks dropped to their lowest in more than a year.
“A large part of the move is due to a broader market sell-off, with both U.S. and Asian equity markets coming under pressure,” said commodities strategist Warren Patterson at Dutch bank ING in Amsterdam.
“Specifically for the oil market, there are no clear signs yet of the market tightening,” he added.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil producers agreed this month to curb production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), equivalent to more than 1 percent of global demand, in an attempt to drain tanks and boost prices.
But the cuts won’t happen until next month and meanwhile production has been at or near record highs in the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia, undermining spot prices.
Russian oil output has hit a record 11.42 million bpd this month, an industry source familiar with the data told Reuters.
Frontpage October 17, 2017