16 October 2014 – US crude futures fell more than a dollar on Thursday in early Asian trades, extending a run of losses on concerns over weak oil demand as equity markets tumbled and economic gloom spread.
Front-month November crude lost $1.14 a barrel at $80.64 early on Thursday. It ended 6 cents lower at $81.78 in the previous session, falling as low as $80.01, it weakest since mid-2012. November Brent crude settled $1.26 lower at $83.78 a barrel, after earlier touching a fresh four-year low.
US crude oil stocks rose far more than expected last week as refineries cut output, while gasoline and distillate inventories declined, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Wednesday.
Crude inventories rose by 10 million barrels in the week to 10 October to 370.7 million, compared with analysts’ expectations for an increase of 2.8 million barrels. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 73,000 barrels, API said.
“Concerns over weak demand continue to pervade, with weakness likely to persist until signs that the supply side is reacting. Focus will also be on China’s aggregate financing data for signs of tightening credit,” Australia & New Zealand Banking Group said in a research note on Thursday, referring to the outlook for oil and other commodities.
China’s consumer inflation slowed more than expected in September to a near five-year low, adding to concerns that global growth is cooling fast and governments need to take bolder measures to shore up their economies.
While much of the decline was due to falling prices for food, fuel and other commodities, which benefits consumers globally, the data also pointed to broad weakness in the world’s second-largest economy.
In the wake of weak Chinese and US inflation figures, stocks took a pounding on Wednesday, and safe-haven government debt prices rose. The euro rose against the dollar, while the greenback fell against the yen.