2 months ago
Commodities

U.S. Oil Prices Drop Below $45 in Pre-Christmas Trade

Investing.com - Oil prices declined for the third straight session on Monday, with the U.S. benchmark hitting the lowest level

Investing.com - Oil prices declined for the third straight session on Monday, with the U.S. benchmark hitting the lowest level since July 2017, as traders continued to worry over global crude supplies and the outlook for energy demand.

West Texas Intermediate crude was down 75 cents, or roughly 1.6%, at $44.84 a barrel by 9:25AM ET (14:25 GMT) on the New York Mercantile Exchange. WTI earlier fell to a 17-month low of $44.67.

The U.S. benchmark lost about 11% last week, its steepest weekly drop since January 2016.

Oil trading in New York will settle at 1:30PM ET (18:30 GMT) in observance of Christmas Eve. Global markets will stay closed on Tuesday in observance of the holiday.

Meanwhile, the global benchmark, Brent crude for March delivery on the ICE (NYSE:ICE) Futures Europe exchange, shed 35 cents, or around 0.6%, to $53.75 a barrel.

It tumbled about 10.7% last week.

Crude oil has lost over a third of its value since October in what has become one of the biggest declines since a price collapse in 2014, with surging supply and the specter of faltering demand scaring off investors.

With just about one week to the end of 2018, WTI remains down about 25% this year, while Brent is down about 20% on the year.

Saudi-led OPEC and its non-member allies led by Russia agreed in early December to collectively cut production by a total of 1.2 million barrels a day during the first six months of 2019 in an effort to stave off a global glut in supplies.

Should that fail to balance the market, OPEC and its allies will hold an extraordinary meeting, United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said on Sunday.

In other energy trading, gasoline futures inched up 0.3% to $1.314 a gallon, while heating oil gained 0.2% to $1.736 a gallon.

Natural gas futures sank 6% to $3.522 per million British thermal units.