Crude oil futures ended sharply lower on Friday as the U.S. dollar index hit a fresh eight-month high, adding more pressure to an already oversupplied, bearish market.
Strength in the greenback, which makes oil more expensive for holders of other currencies, joined with negative sentiment that kicked off earlier in the day due to disappointing Chinese economic data.
"There is dollar strength and a sell off across all commodities," said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.
Brent crude was down 59 cents to $44.87 per barrel by 1:35 p.m. EDT, after settling down 71 cents at $45.46 in the previous session. It traded as low as $44.80 earlier in the session.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures, the U.S. crude benchmark, settled $1.33 lower, or 3.09%, at $41.71 per barrel. Trading in U.S. futures was muted due to holidays in the country.