Brent crude futures were at $47.31 per barrel early on Tuesday, down $0.03 from their last close and following a more than 2.5% drop on Monday. US West Texas Intermediate futures were at $44.44 a barrel, virtually unchanged from their last settlement.
Oil prices, along with most other commodities, have fallen sharply recently, with crude futures losing almost 60%of their value since June 2014.
Japanese stock markets, among the earliest to open in Asia, slid to eight-month lows on Tuesday as global stocks came under pressure from worries about economies in China and other emerging markets.
“China’s industrial profits declined 8.8% in August from a year earlier, with the biggest drops concentrated in producers of coal, oil and metals,” ANZ said on Tuesday.
“These declining margins are likely to add to the global deflationary story, where declining domestic demand is forcing companies to export deflation to the rest of the world.”
On the supply side, Russia’s 2015 oil production is expected to increase slightly from last year to 526 million tonnes, or 10.56 million barrels per day, deputy minister for natural resources and ecology Denis Khramov said on Tuesday.
That would be up 1 million tonnes from last year but lower than a forecast of 530.5 million tonnes by Russia’s Economy Ministry, and another sign that neither Russia nor the main Middle East producers from Opec are so far willing to curb production in support of prices.
The slumping oil and commodities markets are hitting shares of trading merchants hard.
Stocks in mining and trading company Glencore fell almost 30% and closed at a record low on Monday over concerns it is not doing enough to cut its debt to withstand a prolonged fall in commodity markets.
Shares of Asian commodity merchant Noble Group dropped as much as 15% on Tuesday, to their lowest level since the global financial crisis in 2008.
Offsetting some of the bearish sentiment was data from market intelligence firm Genscape estimating a drawdown of over 1 million barrels last week from the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery hub for US crude, traders who saw the figures said.