Oil futures extended their 2016 plunge, with the U.S. benchmark trading below $30 a barrel for the first time since December 2003. West Texas Intermediate oil for February delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange CLG6, +1.64% were down $1.16, or 3.7%, at $30.25 a barrel after dipping as low as $29.93. A global oil glut, concerns about the global economy and a strengthening dollar have allowed crude to extend its slide into the new year. WTI futures have dropped more than 18% in the first six trading days of 2016.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in February fell 97 cents, at $30.44 a barrel—its lowest finish since Dec. 1, 2003—after dipping as low as $29.93. February Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures exchange dropped 69 cents, or 2.2%, to finish at $30.86 a barrel, the lowest finish for the global benchmark since April 2004.
Both grades have fallen for seven straight sessions, leaving WTI futures down nearly 18% in the new year, while Brent has dropped 17.2%.
“The overwhelming supply and demand equation that has encouraged dramatic selling is going nowhere anytime soon, with a persistent aggressive oversupply in the markets consistently haunting investor attraction, while weaker forecasts around global growth weighs on demand, and it is likely that more global economic downgrades from major institutions are to follow early this year,” said Jameel Ahmad, chief market analyst at FXTM, in a note.