Crude oil prices fall as global growth fears weigh

Crude oil prices fall as global growth fears weigh
FILE PHOTO: A pumpjack is seen at the Sinopec-operated Shengli oil field in Dongying, Shandong province, China January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Chen Aizhu -
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SYDNEY (Reuters) – Crude oil prices fell on Friday, pressured by concerns over the outlook for global economic growth.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures <CLc1> were down 1.1% at $56.71 per barrel by 0042 GMT.

Front-month Brent crude futures <LCOc1> were down 0.1% at $63.23 per barrel, after closing down 0.8% on Thursday.

“Concerns over weaker demand outweighed the supply issues,” ANZ Bank said in a research note.

“Weak economic data earlier in the week set the scene for the bearish outlook.”

New orders for U.S. factory goods fell for a second straight month in May, government data showed on Wednesday, stoking economic concerns.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday reported a weekly decline of 1.1 million barrels in crude stocks, much smaller than the 5 million barrel draw reported by the American Petroleum Institute earlier in the week. <USOILC=ECI>

That suggests oil demand in the United States, the world’s biggest crude consumer, could be slowing amid signs of a weakening economy.

Weakness in the oil market came despite ongoing tensions in the Middle East, threatening supply routes.

British Royal Marines seized a giant Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar on Thursday for trying to take oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions, a dramatic step that drew Tehran’s fury and could escalate its confrontation with the West.

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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