Oil Traders take Breather After Weekly Rally, Brent Below $49

Oil prices fell sharply on Monday, taking a breather after booking strong gains over the previous trading week, but heading for another monthly fall amid worries over China and the ongoing supply glut.WTI futures fell 1.84% to $44.39 per barrel, while futures for Brent slid 2.26% to trade at $48.92 per barrel.Last week, both benchmarks posted steep weekly gains after recording the biggest one-day rally since March 2009 – WTI ended the week almost 12% higher, while Brent jumped over 10.5%.In China, one of the world’s biggest oil consumers, the market sell-off returned on Monday after some stabilization last week, despite weekend comments from country’s Premier Li Keqiang who said that Beijing would “enact more targeted and responsive macro-regulation to offset downward economic pressure, more robust reform and innovation efforts to energize the market.”This week will bring some important data, including weekly reports on US crude reserves on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Fed is due to meet on September 16-17, and many analysts still believe the bank’s policymakers will decide to raise the rates. However, some economists say such a move will be postponed given the recent market turmoil and falling oil prices. Friday’s non-farm payrolls report may give more hints about the future monetary steps in the US.

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