US crude revisits levels near 8 month lows; demand fears hang on

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Crude oil revisited levels near multi-month lows on Friday, pressured by a strong dollar, weak demand and ample supplies.

U.S. crude fell in the morning, briefly reversed course but then ended the session barely above its weakest since January. Analysts said oil prices would probably remain under pressure. Some traders cited expectations that U.S. crude stocks will rise in coming weeks during refinery maintenance season. Last week, domestic refinery runs reached their highest rate since Aug. 2005, according to data.

Brent crude for October fell 40 cents to under $98 a barrel, on course for its biggest weekly loss since Aug. 1 and near its weakest in 2 years. The contract expires on Monday, adding to pressure as traders roll positions. The November contract fell 38 cents to $98.48 a barrel. U.S. crude was down 56 cents at $92.27 a barrel.

The dollar index was on track for its ninth straight week of gains, the longest streak since 1997. A stronger dollar can crimp demand for dollar-based commodities, making them more expensive for users of other currencies.

This week's sell-off brought Brent futures to two-year lows. Brent remains down more than 15 percent since a peak in the middle of June.

On Thursday, the International Energy Agency's (IEA) monthly report said weaker consumption in China and Europe had caused global oil demand growth to soften at a remarkable pace.

--By Reuters