Brent oil later stood at USD 97.48, down 56 cents from Wednesday's close, while WTI rebounded slightly to USD 91.91, up 24 cents. The market has forged a series of multi-month lows this week on the back of abundant global crude supplies and gloomy demand growth forecasts. Prices plumbed the latest troughs today after the Paris-based IEA, which advises on energy policy to industrialised nations, cut its global oil demand outlook, citing weaker economic growth in both Europe and China.
The IEA trimmed its estimate for oil demand this year to growth of 1.0 percent, or 900,000 barrels per day (bpd), from a previous estimate of 1.1 per cent or 1.0 million bpd. That takes total demand for the year to 92.6 million bdp. The news followed broadly similar demand forecast downgrades this week from both the US government's Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). "Oil demand growth (is) slowing at 'remarkable' pace, the International Energy Agency has said in its monthly report todayopec," said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.
"This the final of monthly reports from the big three... (on) same theme as what has been said by the EIA and OPEC this week." Falling oil prices have sparked market speculation that crude producer group OPEC could call an emergency meeting to halt the slide. However, cartel member Kuwait said today there was no need to call such a meeting. "So far, we are confident that prices have not dropped to the extent that makes us call for an emergency meeting," Oil Minister Ali al-Omair told reporters.