Market Insider

World drowns in oil as producers slug it out

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Oil prices continue to crater, and the bottom remains elusive because not one of the world's three largest producers shows any sign of blinking.

The latest leg down for crude came with U.S. weekly inventory data Wednesday which showed a surprise supply build of 2.6 million barrels last week, while analysts had expected a drop. West Texas Intermediate futures plunged 4.3 percent to $40.80 per barrel, a new six-year low.

"What we tend to think is these low prices will be around in our forecast for a couple of quarters," said Eric Lee, energy analyst at Citigroup. Analysts believe ultimately low prices should stop some of the production that is driving a supply glut, but that has not happened as quickly as experts had previously projected.