Oil prices fell nearly 3 percent on Monday, pressured by tumbling equities on Wall Street and weak Chinese economic data, although an estimated drawdown in crude stocks at the key U.S. storage hub appeared to limit losses, traders said.
Gyrations in U.S. equity prices and the dollar from bets on the timing of the first U.S. rate hike in nearly a decade have fed volatility in oil prices, which have swung up to 8 percent a day over the past month.
New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley added to the expectations of an early rate increase, suggesting the central bank could pull the trigger as soon as in October.
Wall Street's S&P 500 index was down 2.5 percent after hitting an Aug. 26 low on bullish U.S. consumer spending data in August and bets of a rate hike by October.
"There are more sellers than buyers in oil today and we could break the $44 support for WTI on the downside," said Tariq Zahir, who trades long-dated crude oil spreads at Tyche Capital Advisors in Laurel Hollow, New York.