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Oil futures drifted lower Thursday, with the U.S. benchmark on track for its eighth straight daily decline as worries over global demand persist.
West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery CLX19, -0.44% on the New York Mercantile Exchange were down 11 cents, or 0.2%, at $52.53 a barrel. Meanwhile, December Brent BRNZ19, -0.16%, the global crude benchmark, was off 16 cents, or 0.3%, at $57.53 a barrel, on track for its fifth straight daily drop.
Crude fell to a two-month low on Wednesday after the Energy Information Administration reported an unexpected 3.1 million barrel rise in U.S. crude supplies.
While the rise in oil supplies was a catalyst in Wednesday’s downturn, sentiment was particularly fragile after a “constant string of poorly received global economic data coming on the heels” of the Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. manufacturing index earlier this week, which indicated a deeper contraction in activity in September, said Stephen Innes, market strategist at AxiTrader, in a note.
While concerns about global oil demand are rising, however, next week’s planned meeting of U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators “remains the big wild card and may provide a bit of a floor under the current oil price selloff,” he said.
November gasoline futures RBX19, +0.45% rose 0.7% to $1.5557 a gallon, while November heating oil HOX19, -0.42% was off 0.3% at $1.8669 a gallon.
November natural-gas futures NGX19, +0.93% were up 0.4% at $2.256 per million British thermal units.