Oil prices hit eleven-year low as global supply balloons
By Catherine Ngai
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Brent crude oil prices hit their lowest in more than 11 years on Monday, while U.S. crude flirted with seven-year lows on more signs that swelling global supply looked set to outpace tepid demand again next year.
Global oil production is running close to record highs and, with more barrels poised to enter the market from nations such as Iran and Libya, the price of crude is set for its largest monthly percentage decline in seven years.
Brent's premium over U.S. crude narrowed further as the market braced for the end of a 40-year ban on U.S. crude exports. President Obama signed a law on Friday that will end the ban.
U.S. crude futures fell 53 cents at $34.20 by 11:14 a.m. EST (1614 GMT) after bouncing off an intraday low of $33.98.
Brent futures were down 61 cents at $36.27, falling as much as 2 percent during the session to a low of $36.04 a barrel, its weakest since July 2004.
Brent has dropped nearly 19 percent this month, its steepest fall since the collapse of failed U.S. bank Lehman Brothers in October 2008.
"The fundamentals are pretty bearish," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. "Warm temperatures are killing the markets right now and the oversupply is weighing on prices."
Heating oil futures fell to their lowest since July 2004 as U.S. and European weather modes forecast warmer-than-expected weather through year end. Continued...