Futures Movers: Oil falls as global equity rout takes a toll on demand optimism

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Oil futures remained under pressure Thursday, unable to escape the pull of a global equity rout that may also reflect concerns about global economic growth prospects.

“In an environment of sharply falling stock markets, oil prices have likewise been under pressure since yesterday,” wrote Eugen Weinberg, head of commodity research at Commerzbank, in a note.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures for November delivery CLX8, -1.74%  fell $1.23, or 1.7%, to $71.95 a barrel. The global benchmark, Brent crude for December delivery LCOZ8, -1.90%  on the ICE Europe exchange lost $1.35, or 1.6%, to $81.74 a barrel.

Wall Street saw a sharp selloff on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -3.15%  dropping more than 830 points, or more than 3%. The S&P 500 SPX, -3.29% also fell more than 3%, marking the biggest drop for both gauges since February. Futures indicated more selling in store for Thursday.

Oil futures also felt pressure after the American Petroleum Institute, an industry trade group, late Wednesday said crude supplies rose 9.7 million barrels in the week ended Oct. 5, according to sources. Investors will pay close attention late Thursday to the release of official data from the Energy Information Administration. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts expect the EIA to report a rise of 1.61 million barrels.

Earlier Wednesday, the EIA boosted its forecast for U.S. oil production, which added another headwind, Weinberg said. Oil futures also saw weakness as traders played down the potential impact of Hurricane Michael on energy infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico.

In other energy trade, November gasoline futures RBX8, -2.09%  fell 2.2% to $1.975 a gallon, while November heating oil HOX8, -1.41%  fell 1.5% to $2.3582 a gallon. November natural NGX18, -0.97%  declined 0.7% to $3.26 per million British thermal units.

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