BENGALURU: Oil prices fell on Tuesday for the third straight session, after a flurry of slow economic data from Germany, the euro zone and Britain weighed on the outlook for energy demand.
Brent crude futures were down $1.63, or 1.8%, at $88.20 a barrel at 1:03 p.m. EDT (1703 GMT. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down $1.71, or 2%, at $83.78 a barrel. Euro zone business activity data took a surprise downward turn this month, suggesting the bloc may slip into recession. German readings suggested a recession in that country is underway.
Britain’s businesses reported another monthly decline in activity, highlighting recession risks ahead of the Bank of England’s interest rate decision next week.
“There is definitely a dialogue on about the global economy being worse this week than it was last week,” said Mizuho analyst Robert Yawger. “It does not help that a lot of the top bankers and financial experts are in Saudi Arabia today talking about how bad the economy is,” he added, referring to the Future Investment Initiative event dubbed “Davos in the Desert”.
In contrast to Europe, US data showed business output ticked higher in October as manufacturing pulled out of a five-month contraction. The relative strength of the US economy helped lift the dollar, making dollar-denominated oil more expensive for holders of other currencies.
The International Energy Agency said it expected fossil fuel demand to peak by 2030 based on governments’ current policies.