Oil prices have declined by more than 1% on global economy concerns following a warning by the European Central Bank (ECB) of continued weakness.
International benchmark Brent crude futures were down 88 cents at $65.42 per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slipped 63 cents at $56.03 per barrel, Reuters reported.
Crude oil futures took a hit after ECB president Mario Draghi said: “We are [in] a period of continued weakness and pervasive uncertainty. The near-term growth outlook will be weaker than previously anticipated.”
The ECB also unveiled a round of fresh measures offering cheap loans to banks to help revive the economy.
These latest moves came as the ECB made sharp cuts to its forecasts this year for growth and inflation.
The extent of the measures announced by the ECB underline its concerns with slowing growth in the Eurozone, BBC reported.
Data highlighting a decline in Chinese exports and imports in February also led to a fall in oil prices.
Official data revealed that February dollar-denominated exports in China declined by 21% compared to 2018, while imports dropped 5.2%.
On the supply side, the crude oil market has received support in 2019 from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)-led supply cuts.
These efforts are being undermined by increasing crude oil production in the US by more than two million barrels per day (Mbpd) since early 2018 to a record 12.1 Mbpd.
Independent bank Jefferies said that output growth in the country was largely being fueled by onshore shale production, which had recently benefited from investments by ExxonMobil and Chevron.