Oil prices continued to trade lower for a third straight session on Wednesday, amid low hopes for a U.S.-China trade deal and as a jump in U.S. inventories reinforced concerns about the weak growth of the global economy.
As of 10:35 GMT, West Texas Intermediate futures plunged to a low of $54.73 a barrel, the lowest since November 1, before recovering to $55.28 a barrel.
Brent crude futures rose above $61 a barrel after hitting a bottom at $60.30.
Black gold has been negatively affected by declining hopes for any move that would end the U.S.-China trade war, especially after U.S. President Donald Trump's threats yesterday to increase tariffs unless the deal is signed.
On Chinese side, China's Foreign Ministry has accused the United States of interfering in its affairs after the U.S senate passed a unanimous bill supporting protesters in Hong Kong.
"Hong Kong's Human Rights and Democracy Act interferes with China's domestic affairs," Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a post on its website on Wednesday.
On the other hand, preliminary data from the American Petroleum Institute released on Tuesday showed that U.S. crude inventories, the world's largest crude user, rose by 6 million barrels in the week ended November 15 to 445.9 million barrels.
Russia, the world's second-largest oil producer, is unlikely to support further cuts in oil production when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meets on December 5 and 6 in Vienna, raising concerns about a supply surplus, Reuters reported.