SEOUL – Brent and U.S. crude oil futures hit their fresh 6-1/2-year lows on Monday as investors continue to worry about weak demand as China’s economy slows amid a global supply surplus.
Brent oil lost 44 cents at $45.02 a barrel as of 0125 GMT after hitting its intraday low of $45.00 earlier the day. That’s the lowest since $42.59 marked in March of 2009. On Friday it ended $1.16, or 2.5 percent, lower at $45.46 a barrel.
U.S. October crude also had dropped 60 cents to $39.85 a barrel, after hitting $39.71 a barrel or the lowest since $39.44 in March of 2009.
In the previous session it settled 87 cents, or 2.1 percent, lower at $40.45 a barrel.
“Supply-side news continues to dominate the market…Fears of surging Iranian oil are likely to increase further after Iran’s oil minister stated the country had plans to raise oil production at any cost,” ANZ said in a note on Monday.
Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Sunday that holding an emergency OPEC meeting may be “effective” in stabilizing the oil price, Iran’s oil ministry news agency Shana reported. There was a similar call by Algeria earlier this month, which other OPEC delegates said no meeting was planned.
“Latest oil pricing pressure appears more financial than physical. While oil fundamentals aren’t strong, physical markets do not corroborate the substantial weakness in flat price,” Morgan Stanley said on Monday.
Asian stocks fell on Monday after Wall Street suffered another bruising blow as deepening concerns over the slowing Chinese economy continued to unnerve global equity markets. The safe-haven yen rallied and key government bonds were bought from the widespread unrest in the financial markets.
China on Sunday allowed pension funds managed by local governments to invest in the stock market for the first time, potentially channeling hundreds of billions of yuan into the country’s struggling equity market.
(Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Michael Perry)
This article was from Reuters and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.