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Oil prices hover near 7-year lows as glut concerns weigh

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - Oil prices fell for the seventh straight session on Monday, amid lingering concerns a global supply glut may stick around for longer than anticipated.

On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for January delivery dipped 20 cents, or 0.53%, to trade at $37.73 a barrel during European morning hours. On Friday, London-traded Brent sank to $37.36, a level not seen since the depths of the global financial crisis in December 2008.

Brent futures plunged $5.07, or 11.79%, last week, its worst weekly loss of the year. Brent oil prices are on track to post an annual decline of 33% in 2015, as oversupply concerns dominated market sentiment for most of the year.

Elsewhere, crude oil for delivery in January on the New York Mercantile Exchange inched down 15 cents, or 0.42%, to trade at $35.47 a barrel. Nymex futures fell to $35.16 on Friday, the lowest since February 2009.

Last week, New York-traded oil futures tumbled $4.35, or 10.88%, the biggest weekly decline since December 2014. U.S. oil futures are down 33% so far this year amid worries over ample domestic supplies.

Oil futures have fallen every day since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries failed to agree on output targets on December 4. Prices are down nearly 15% over the past seven sessions.

On Friday, the International Energy Agency projected that a global supply glut could worsen next year. In its December oil market report, the Paris-based IEA said that global oil demand growth will slow to 1.2 million barrels per day next year, down from 1.8 million in 2015, widening the gulf in the supply-demand imbalance worldwide.

The bearish estimates came after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said it pumped the most crude in more than three years last month, adding to concerns over a glut in global supplies.

In its own monthly oil market report published last Thursday, OPEC said crude production rose by 230,100 barrels a day in November to 31.695 million, the most since April 2012, as the cartel pressed on with a strategy to protect market share and pressure competing producers.

Global crude production is outpacing demand following a boom in U.S. shale oil and after a decision by OPEC last year not to cut production in order to defend market share.

Meanwhile, the spread between the Brent and the WTI crude contracts stood at $2.26 a barrel, compared to $2.31 by close of trade on Friday.

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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.


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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