Global crude prices fell again on Thursday, a day after a short-covering rally, as traders placed new bets that the market would resume a six-month rout on worries about a supply glut.
In early trade, oil extended gains from the previous session, when short-covering lifted prices more than $3 a barrel.
But in late morning trade in New York, benchmark Brent and U.S. crude tumbled to fresh session lows, with Brent off by about $2 to near $59 a barrel. U.S. crude for January settlement ended the session down by more than $2 per barrel, at $54.11.
"We're continuing to search for a bottom, and might even see another significant drop before the year-end," said Gene McGillian, an analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.