Crude oil futures drifted lower on Monday as worries about global economic slowdown and possible drop in near term energy demand weighed on the commodity.
The decline in prices was also due to comments from the U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that an initial U.S.-China trade deal does not need to be finalized next month.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended down $0.47, or about 0.9%, at $53.31 a barrel.
On Friday, WTI crude oil futures for November ended down $0.15, or about 0.3%, at $53.78 a barrel.
Ross’ comments was in contrast to what President Donald Trump had said on Friday. Trump said he hopes that the first phase of the deal, announced earlier in October, will be signed by the middle of next month. Earlier today, he told reporters at the White House that the trade deal is coming along great.
At the cabinet meeting Trump said that issues in phase two of the deal would be a lot easier to work out than those in phase one.
Recent data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed crude stockpiles in the U.S. jumped 9.3 million barrels in the week ended October 12, more than three times the expected increase.
Downbeat comments about the economy from the incoming European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde and geopolitical tensions following direct threat to the U.S. by North Korea’s Vice Minister added to concerns about outlook for energy demand.
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