Oil prices were heading to their worst level in nearly two months on Friday amid rising investor concern about market oversupply.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, was down 0.7 per cent at $64.38 a barrel, and on track for its lowest close December 19. The key US price West Texas Intermediate, was down 0.9 per cent at $61.69 a barrel and heading for its worst close in 2018.
The moves came after data on Wednesday showed US domestic production surpassed all-time records and as the North Sea’s largest crude pipeline restarted after an outage.
“US output is now above Saudi Arabia at 10.25 [million barrels a day], and this has spooked some investors,” ANZ analysts commented. “On a technical basis, crude oil prices fell below its 50-day moving average, adding to the selling that emerged earlier this week.”
Concerns have mounted that rising US production could offset production curbs by global producers led by Opec and Russia, which have helped to bolster prices.
A rising dollar also added pressure to prices, spurring holders of other currencies to sell dollar-denominated commodities.
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