Oil prices fall as investors wary of trade slowdown

SINGAPORE: Oil prices dipped on Monday amid cautious sentiment as a plunge in financial markets last week and dollar strength early this week underscored concerns that growth may be slowing, especially in Asia’s emerging economies.
Front-month Brent crude oil future were trading down 46 cents, or 0.6 per cent, at $77.16 a barrel at 0745 GMT. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $67.19 a barrel, down 40 cents, or 0.6 per cent.
Investors remained wary after hefty losses last week, while a stronger dollar on safe-haven buying puts pressure on the purchasing power of emerging markets.
“The bears seem well in control of the market and there are many reasons to justify their actions,” said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at futures brokerage FXTM.
He pointed to “weakening global economic growth, the ongoing US-China trade war, monetary policy tightening, fears of a hard Brexit (and) Italy’s budget woes” as main reasons for the selloffs.
Singapore-based ship tanker brokerage Eastport said financial market turmoil may “weigh on investment and consumer spending, reducing trade flows and ultimately hitting demand”.
Hedge funds slashed their bullish wagers on US crude in the latest week to the lowest level in more than a year, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission said. — Reuters