Oil prices slumped more than 4 percent on Monday, with Brent reaching a three-month low, as Libyan ports reopened and traders eyed potential supply increases by Russia and other producers, APA reports quoting Reuters.
Brent crude LCOc1 futures fell $3.49 to settle at $71.84 a barrel, a 4.63 percent loss, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures fell $2.95 to settle at $68.06 a barrel, a 4.15 percent loss.
Brent’s dive pushed it to a session low of $71.52 during the session, its lowest since mid-April.
Falling prices offset gains late last week caused by supply outages in Libya, a labor dispute in Norway and unrest in Iraq.
Russia and other oil producers could raise output by 1 million barrels per day (bpd) or more if shortages hit the market, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Friday.
Also weighing on futures were reports the United States could tap its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which would add supply to the market.
Concerns over China’s second-quarter GDP growth also was negative for prices during Monday’s session. The country’s economy expanded at a slower pace as Beijing’s efforts to contain debt hurt activity, while June factory output growth weakened to a two-year low in a worrying sign for investment and exporters as a trade war with the United States intensified.
“The GDP missing a little bit psychologically was a warning sign that China is doing OK now, but not quite as strong as expected,” said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.