Oil prices plunged to their lowest levels in over a year on Thursday, deepening a sell-off fueled by concerns about oversupply as stock markets slumped on rising U.S. interest rates.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude ended Thursday’s session down $2.29, or 4.8 percent, at $45.88, the lowest closing price since July 2017. WTI is now down about 24 percent this year.
Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, fell $2.89, or about 5 percent, to $54.35, its weakest settle since mid-September 2017. Brent has shed nearly 19 percent in 2019.
Crude futures staged a rally in the previous session on signs of strong fuel demand in the United States. However, bearish reports out of Asia overnight added to worries on both the supply and demand sides of the oil market ledger.
“There’s just a really negative narrative out there,” said John Kilduff, founding partner at energy hedge fund Again Capital. “The stars are just aligned right now in a bearish way.”