Oil Prices Fall on Worries About Weak Demand

Oil Prices Fall on Worries About Weak Demand
Brent crude futures were down 49 cents, or 0.7%, to $71.73 a barrel.

Global oil prices fell on Tuesday on concerns over weak demand in the United States and Asia, although ongoing production outages on the U.S. Gulf Coast due to Hurricane Ida helped to limit losses, Reuters news agency reports.

Industry analysts said a strengthening U.S. dollar also weighed on crude prices. A strong dollar makes oil more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Brent crude futures were down 49 cents, or 0.7%, to $71.73 a barrel by, after falling 39 cents on Monday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was down $1.08 or 1.6% from Friday's close at $68.21 a barrel.

The U.S. economy created the fewest jobs in seven months in August as hiring in the leisure and hospitality sector stalled amid a resurgence in COVID-19 infections.

Saudi Aramco's move on Sunday to cut October official selling prices (OSPs) for all its crude grades sold to Asia by at least $1 a barrel also weighed on oil prices, according to the report.

The deep price cuts is a sign that consumption in Asia, the world's top-importing region, remains tepid and it comes as lockdowns across Asia to combat the Delta variant of the coronavirus have clouded the economic outlook.

Oil prices found some support from strong Chinese economic indicators and continued outages of U.S. supply from Hurricane Ida.

China's crude imports increased by 8% in August from a month earlier, customs data showed, while China's economy got a boost as exports unexpectedly grew at a faster pace in August.

More than 80% of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico remained shut after Ida, a U.S. regulator said on Monday, more than a week after the storm made landfall and hit critical infrastructure in the region.