Oil down as optimism fades
LONDON, October 2, 2017 – Crude oil prices extended losses on Monday, as optimism surrounding an apparent re-balancing of the market began to fade following news of an increase in Iraqi production and a rise in U.S. oil rig counts.
The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude November contract was at $50.52 a barrel, down $1.14 or about 2.17% by 9:00 a.m. ET (13:00 GMT), off last Thursday’s five-month high of $52.86 and its lowest since September 25.
Elsewhere, Brent oil for November delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London was down $1.02 or about 1.81% at $55.77 a barrel, pulling further away from a more than two-yer peak of $59.49 reached last week.
Prices turned lower after data on Friday showed that U.S. energy companies added oil rigs for the first time in seven weeks last week.
The commodity also came under pressure after Iraq said its exports rose slightly in September when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries overall increased output, according to a Reuters survey.
The commodity had been well supported in recent weeks amid growing optimism that the crude market was well on its way towards rebalancing as data showed strong compliance from major producers with their supply cut agreement.
In May, OPEC and non-OPEC members led by Russia agreed to extend production cuts of 1.8 million barrels per day for a period of nine months until March 2018 in a bid to reduce global oil inventories and support oil prices.
Elsewhere, gasoline futures tumbled 1.68% to $1.560 a gallon, while natural gas futures lost 2.23% to $2.937 per million British thermal units.