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Crude oil futures fall to 4-1/2-month low on U.S. demand concerns

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Shutterstock photo - " Crude oil futures fell to the lowest level in more than four months on Monday, as ongoing concerns over rising U.S. inventories and weaker demand in the world's largest oil consumer drove prices lower.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in December traded at USD94.72 a barrel during U.S. morning trade, up 0.1%.

New York-traded oil futures fell to a session low of USD94.09 a barrel earlier in the day, the weakest level since June 26.

The December contract ended down 1.84% on Friday to settle at USD94.61 a barrel.

Oil futures were likely to find support at USD93.71 a barrel, the low from June 26 and resistance at USD96.64 a barrel, the high from November 1.

Nymex oil futures lost 3.3% last week, the seventh weekly decline in the past eight weeks.

U.S. crude prices have been on a downward trend in recent weeks amid concerns the recent U.S. government shutdown created a drag on economic growth and eroded demand in the world's largest oil consumer.

U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 4.1 million barrels last week to 383.9 million barrels, the highest level since June.

Market players now looked ahead to the release of key U.S. economic data later in the week to help assess the timing for a reduction in the Federal Reserve's bond-purchasing program.

The U.S. is set to release preliminary data on third quarter economic growth on Thursday, while October's highly-anticipated nonfarm payrolls report is scheduled for Friday.

The central bank sounded more optimistic than anticipated in its assessment of the economy following its policy-setting meeting last week, sparking speculation the Fed could start tapering stimulus at its December meeting.

The Fed's stimulus program is viewed by many investors as a key driver in boosting the price of commodities as it tends to depress the value of the dollar.

Investors shrugged off a report on Monday showed that U.S. factory orders rose 1.7% from a month earlier in September, in line with expectations.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for December delivery was little changed to trade at USD105.91 a barrel, with the spread between the Brent and crude contracts standing at USD11.19 a barrel. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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