Futures Now

Why oil is in more trouble than you think

Dan Yergin: The other problem with oil
Dan Yergin: The other problem with oil

Crude oil just can't catch a break.

After rising more than 6 percent on the day, the battered commodity promptly sold off, falling 9 percent in five hours. And IHS Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin says it could get even worse for crude.

"There's still this downward pressure that's there. And the kind of thing that's hovering over it, and it affected things today, is the continuing concerns about economic prospects," Yergin said Thursday on CNBC's "Futures Now."

He says that OPEC's decision not to reduce output targets was partially aimed at stimulating demand, but the global economy hasn't quite cooperated.

India, Indonesia and Mexico are all looking to reduce oil subsidies, which would raise prices there, Yergin pointed out. Meanwhile, Europe's economy is in dire shape. And "Chinese oil demand is so [strongly] linked to construction and infrastructure, and that's weakening."

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All in all, "the one place you could see demand spike up a little bit is in the United States," he said.

The concern is that U.S. growth may be somewhat overstated. On Thursday, jobless claims unexpectedly rose to a four-month high, and the Philadelphia Fed survey showed that factory activity slowed a bit. The data seemed to trouble both the stock and bond markets, as the S&P 500 fell for the fifth straight day, and bond yields continued to slide.

In other words, the United States economy may not be quite as strong as the oil-producing nations hope. And as a result, the incredible crude collapse may not be over just yet.

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