Crude oil hits a low as China fears increase

A man fills up his vehicle at a petrol station in Rome January 6, 2015.


Brent was down 22 cents at US$48.39 (RM190) a barrel at 0130 GMT, after touching a more than six-month low of US$48.26.

During the Asian trading day, prices recorded on the New York Mercantile Exchange showed light, sweet crude futures for delivery in September fell to a low of $US43.35 per barrel, before edging up to $US43.73 per barrel.

JP Morgan slashed its crude oil price forecasts for this year and next, citing increased production, and said there was a possibility of prices touching new lows this year due to peak seasonal refinery maintenance in October.

Crude oil futures touched multi-month lows on Monday after a weekend of mixed data from China showing higher oil imports in July but weaker trade figures overall, hurting sentiment across the commodities markets.

Both benchmarks have fallen for six straight weeks, weighed down by chronic oversupply and sagging demand.

“That is weighing on oil prices regardless of the fact that oil imports were very strong”.

China’s industrial demand for oil may slow in the next few months, although China’s government has been taking advantage of the low prices to build up its oil reserves, said Kai Hu, senior vice president at Moody’s Investors Service.

The Indian basket of global crude oil continued to rule below the crucial level of 50 dollar per barrel, on the back of subdued global demand.

Meanwhile, the global supply glut looks likely to persist with September North Sea loadings set to be the highest so far this year. The number of rigs seeking oil rose by six to 670 for a third weekly gain, Baker Hughes data shows.

“It has made a big move downwards – but how much lower can you go?”


“The market remains in a battle between the bearish current fundamentals and the perception that the market will begin to rebalance in the not too distant future”, said Dominick Chirichella of the Energy Management Institute.

Indian basket crude oil stays below 50 dollar barrel