Investing.com - Oil prices fell on Wednesday in Asia amid surging U.S. output and weak China data.
Crude Oil WTI Futures for February delivery traded 2.1% lower to $44.84 a barrel at 1:22 AM ET (06:22 GMT) on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent Oil Futures for March delivery declined 1.9% to $53.11 per barrel on London’s Intercontinental Exchange.
WTI was down 25% in 2018, its first losing year since 2015. It also was down 41% from the four-year highs of nearly $77 a barrel hit in early October.
Brent lost 20% in 2018 and was off 39% from four-year highs of nearly $87 a barrel hit in early October.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on Monday that U.S. crude output rose to an all-time high of 11.537 million barrels per day (bpd) in October.
"Don't underestimate shale producers and the wider U.S. oil industry in general. Too often this year the market pushed stories ... bottlenecks (pipelines, frack crews, truck drivers, etc.), yet U.S. oil production will have grown by a massive 2+ million barrels per day between 1.1.2018 and 1.1.2019," JBC Energy said.
Meanwhile, factory activity weakened in December across Asia, especially in China, data showed.
The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for December fell to 49.7, from 50.2 in November, marking the first contraction in 19 months.
A reading below 50 signals contraction.
The reading confirmed a trend seen in the official PMI that was reported on Monday, which showed a drop to 49.4 in December.