Investing.com - Oil prices struggled near April lows in European trade on Tuesday, remaining in bear market territory amid signs of increasing production in the U.S. and rising output among members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Crude oil for September delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange shed 17 cents, or 0.42%, to trade at $39.89 a barrel by 07:55GMT, or 3:55AM ET. A day earlier, New York-traded oil sank to $39.82, a level not seen since April 19.
WTI crude futures are nearly 23% lower from their 2016 highs above $50 a barrel scaled in early June, technically placing it in bear market territory, as signs of an ongoing recovery in U.S. drilling activity combined with elevated stocks of fuel products weighed.
According to oilfield services provider Baker Hughes, the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. last week increased by three to 374, the fifth straight weekly gain and the eighth increase in nine weeks.
Meanwhile, U.S. gasoline stocks are well above the upper limit of the average range, according to the Energy Information Administration, despite being in the midst of the peak U.S. summer-driving season.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for October delivery inched down 12 cents, or 0.28%, to $42.02 a barrel, after falling to a more than three-month low of $41.87 on Monday.
London-traded Brent futures are down almost 21% since peaking above $50 in early June, as prospects of increased exports from Middle Eastern and North African producers, such as Iraq, Nigeria and Libya, added to concerns that a glut of oil products will cut demand for crude by refiners.
Supply from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has risen to 33.41 million barrels per day (bpd) in July from a revised 33.31 million bpd in June, according to a survey based on shipping data and information from industry sources.
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