U.S. crude prices fall towards $40 on global glut


U.S. crude oil prices fell to almost $40 a barrel on Thursday, their lowest since the global financial crisis of 2009, as supplies rose in North America and the Middle East, filling stockpiles to record levels.

Oil has lost a third of its value since June on high U.S. production, record crude pumping in the Middle East and concern about falling demand in Asian economies.

All the main oil futures contracts looked to be heading lower, PVM Oil Associates director and technical analyst Robin Bieber said.

"The trend is down and vicious," Bieber said in a note to clients of the London brokerage.

U.S. crude oil, also known as West Texas Intermediate or WTI CLc1, was down 50 cents at $40.30 a barrel by 1030 GMT, after hitting a new 6-1/2-year low of $40.21. (BY LISA BARRINGTON, Reuters)