Oil heads for eighth straight week of falls

The China Post - - MARKETS -

Oil headed for its eighth straight weekly de­cline in Asia Fri­day, as sharp falls in eq­ui­ties added to wor­ries lack­lus­ter global eco­nomic growth will hurt energy de­mand in an over­sup­plied mar­ket.

U.S. bench­mark West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate (WTI) for Oc­to­ber de­liv­ery, a new con­tract, lost 54 cents to US$40.78 a bar­rel in af­ter­noon trade, while Brent crude for Oc­to­ber tum­bled 62 cents to US$46.00 a bar­rel.

The WTI Septem­ber con­tract closed 34 cents higher at US$41.14 in New York on Thurs­day, scrap­ing off re­cent six and a half year lows.

Asian shares fell on Fri­day, con­tin­u­ing a global sell-off in eq­ui­ties that hit Wall Street overnight and saw the Dow reach its low­est level this year as con­cerns about the health of the world econ­omy snow­balled.

An­a­lysts fear a slow­down in main­land China, the world’s sec­ond-big­gest econ­omy, could drag on global growth and curb energy de­mand — bad news for oil prices at a time when mar­kets are al­ready over­sup­plied with crude.

Oil has man­aged

to

hold above the key US$40 a bar­rel mark, but U.S. bank­ing gi­ant Cit­i­group said on Wed­nes­day prices could fall to US$32 a bar­rel, a multi-year low last seen in 2008.

In­vestors will be watch­ing the weekly U.S. oil rig count, due on Fri­day, to see if a slump in crude prices has started to dampen pro­duc­tion in the world’s top con­sumer.

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