Oil prices extended last week’s losses and traded lower early on Monday, weighed down by lingering concerns about demand amid economic growth worries.
As of 7:08 a.m. EDT on Monday, the U.S. benchmark, WTI Crude, was trading down by 0.31% at $77.60. The international benchmark, Brent Crude, was down by 0.42% on the day at $81.30.
Oil continued the drop from last week, which was the first week in five to see a weekly decline in prices, as concerns about demand resurfaced despite data from China showing better-than-expected economic growth for the first quarter of the year.
Across oil markets, “refinery margins remain under pressure, largely a result of weakness in middle distillates. However, gasoline cracks have also started to see some weakness,” ING strategists Warren Patterson and Ewa Manthey said on Monday.
“The growth-sensitive commodities, such as copper and crude oil prices, fell due to risk-aversion sentiment as the weak US economic data and disappointing tech earnings sparked growth concerns,” Tina Teng, a market analyst at CMC Markets, wrote on Monday.
Rising bond yields and the stabilized U.S. dollar are also weighing down on commodity markets, Teng added.
A rising U.S. dollar makes crude oil more expensive for holders of other currencies.
“Crude oil prices traded lower in Asia overnight on a combination of technical factors, such as ongoing attempts to close the gaps down to $80 in Brent and $75.70 in WTI as well as long-liquidation from funds that bought futures contracts following the April 3 OPEC+ production cut announcement,” analysts at Saxo Bank said in a note today.
“The short-term fundamental outlook also continues to deteriorate with recession worries more than offsetting supply cuts as refinery margins remain under pressure across all the major trading hubs sending a warning sign about demand ahead of the peak consumption season,” they added.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com