– This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on March 15, Tuesday.
Welcome to CNBC Business Daily, I'm Qian Chen.
oil prices fell over 3 percent on Monday on concerns a six-week market recovery has gone beyond fundamentals, as U.S. crude stockpiles continue to mount and Iran maintains little interest in a global production freeze.
Iran dashed hopes of a coordinated production freeze any time soon, returning bearish sentiment to the market over a supply glut that has sent prices crashing.
"Oil is down because Iran said they would only join the output freeze group once they reached production of 4 million barrels a day (bpd)," said Tamas Varga, oil analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.
He was referring to comments by Iran's oil minister Bijan Zanganeh on Sunday that the OPEC member would join discussions after its output reached that level.
Iran's oil exports are due to reach 2 million bpd in the Iranian month that ends on March 19, up from 1.75 million in the previous month, he said.
Saudi Arabia appeared to have stuck to a preliminary deal with some other producers to freeze output, as its crude production held steady in February at 10.22 million bpd, an industry source told Reuters.
OPEC members and non-OPEC producers are likely to hold their next meeting to discuss an output freeze in mid-April in Doha, OPEC sources told Reuters.
In a sign that investors are growing more skeptical about a rebound in oil prices, ICE data showed on Monday that speculators had cut net long Brent crude positions by 9,500 contracts in the week ending March 8.
Worries about demand fundamentals moved back into the spotlight as investment bank Morgan Stanley warned that a slowing global economy and high production would prevent any sharp rises in oil prices.
"Oil prices now seem to have bottomed, even though they are likely to stay subdued for the rest of this year before starting to move higher in 2017," the U.S. bank said in a research note. It added that cheap oil had not provided the boost to growth that many had hoped for.
"When oil prices are falling below production costs, the income gains for consumers will be smaller than the costs to producers, and falling oil prices become a negative-sum game," it said.
And we are seeing that "negative-sum game" happening in Alaska, where schools are bleeding red ink.
The University of Alaska has said it will reorganize its campuses and may have to cut more than 8 percent of the staff, but professors are already heading for the exits. The state's largest public school district, here in Anchorage, is cutting 49 teaching positions and increasing class sizes. And in tiny rural schools like Nightmute - which has 80 students in a village of about 300 people - the pain has almost reached the point of paralysis: Five of the school's six teachers are leaving at the end of the school year.
Traders are looking at other data and factors, including Russia's Putin has ordered Russian forces to start pulling out of Syria today.
CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.