Oil price hits 2017 low

Crude slumped last week after a shock rise in US stockpiles, up 3.3million barrels to 513million, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Brent crude slipped to about $48 a barrel, its lowest level since December, and analysts said it could go sharply lower.

Crude dipped below $27 a barrel in January last year and Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at online trading platform IG, said a repeat of those levels is a distinct possibility: “Crude tends to overshoot on both the upside and the downside.”

The oil price recovered after Opec and non-Opec producers agreed to cut output last December, but Beauchamp added: “The world is still drowning in oversupply.”

Shale drillers have made up for reduced output and the EIA predicted last week that daily US production could hit a record 10million barrels next year.