Oil Slips Below $60 a Barrel as Supply Concerns Weaken Demand
Crude prices were lower on Friday, as rising supply and weakening economic growth decreased investor demand.
West Texas Crude oil futures for November slumped 1.37% to $59.84 a barrel as of 9:06 AM ET (14:06 GMT), down 20% from its 52 week high. Meanwhile Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., dipped 0.84% to $70.06.
Data on Wednesday showed that inventories in the U.S. continue to rise more than expected, leading to concerns of oversupply, despite sanctions against Iran.
U.S. crude inventories rose by 5.7 million barrels last week, compared with the general consensus of a 3.2 million-barrel increase, the EIA reported.
Traders were also concerned by waivers that the U.S. granted to eight countries on Monday that allowed them to continue buying Iranian crude despite U.S. sanctions. The sanction exemptions mean that oil supply will be higher than traders originally thought.
Prices had risen in anticipation of the sanctions, which went into effect in early November.
Investors are also looking ahead to the weekly U.S. Baker Hughes oil rig count, which is a leading indicator of demand for oil products, which comes out later in the session.
In other energy trading, Gasoline RBOB Futures fell 1.33% to $1.6232 a gallon, while heating oil decreased 0.98% to $2.1475 a gallon. Natural gas futures surged 3.19% to $3.655 per million British thermal units.