Oil heads for eighth straight week of falls
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
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.