Crude prices edged down in early Asian trade on Monday to hold near two-month lows on seasonally weak consumption, despite comments from the Saudi Arabian oil minister that the oil market was becoming more balanced.
London Brent crude for September delivery was down 22 cents at USD46.54 a barrel by 2247 GMT on Sunday. It settled up 36 cents on Friday after the US economy posted the largest job gains in eight months in June and on worries about fresh militant attacks on Nigerian oil infrastructure.
NYMEX crude for August delivery was down 27 cents at USD45.14 a barrel, after closing up 27 cents on Friday.
Oil’s big rebound in the first half of the year was a squandered opportunity for most hedge funds with positions in crude, and a surge in volatility is likely to make it harder for them to call the market in the second half.
Money managers cut their net long US crude futures and options positions to the smallest levels since March in the week to July 5, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.