NEW YORK • Oil's slide accelerated on Tuesday, with US futures suffering their steepest one-day loss in more than three years due to ongoing worries over weakening global demand and oversupply.
US futures closed down 7.1 per cent, for a record 12th straight decline and the lowest since November last year. More than 980,000 contracts changed hands, as funds shed positions.
Traders said the selling was an extension of Monday's, which was triggered after United States President Donald Trump posted a tweet to put pressure on the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries not to cut supply to prop up prices.
Speculators have pulled back on heavy bets on an oil rally, traders said, adding that recent weakness in equities has fanned concerns about global growth, which is also contributing to declines in oil.
US crude futures settled down US$4.24 a barrel, or 7.1 per cent, to US$55.69 a barrel. It was the largest one-day percentage decline for the contract since September 2015. US crude has lost 28 per cent since its October peak.
Brent ended down US$4.65, or 6.6 per cent, to US$65.47 a barrel, the largest one-day loss since July. It has lost 25 per cent since peaking at a four-year high in early October and now sits at levels not seen since March.
Both oil benchmarks are now trading firmly in bear market territory, having fallen more than 20 per cent from their 52-week highs.