Oil turns negative on U.S. stock market weakness

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FILE PHOTO: Crude oil storage tanks are seen from above at the Cushing oil hub in Oklahoma, U.S., March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Nick Oxford/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices turned negative on Wednesday, following U.S. stock markets down, on concerns about global economic weakness, forecasts for record U.S. shale production and lower U.S. gasoline prices.

Brent futures were down $1.07, or 1.7 percent, at $60.43 a barrel by 11:58 a.m. EST (1658 GMT), while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 99 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $52.02 per barrel.

“Today’s trade is extending a daily pattern of oil moving in close tandem with swings in the equities,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates in Chicago, said in a report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average turned negative around midday Wednesday after rising about 1.2 percent earlier in the day.

Ritterbusch said he expects “the energy complex will prove more reactive to large equity sell-offs than to rallies as this month proceeds.”

(Graphic: U.S. oil production growth – tmsnrt.rs/2AZSnDc)

Additional reporting by Noah Browning in London and Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Alexandra Hudson

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