The oil market fell on Wednesday as a widespread economic slowdown, which may dent growth in demand for fuel, weighed on energy prices.
Crude futures earlier got a boost from hopes that Japan and China would take fiscal stimulus measures to stem the slowdown. Prices got further support from expectations that U.S. crude stockpiles fell last week and official data indicated slowing growth in U.S. shale oil output in the coming years.
But by midday benchmark futures were on pace for a second straight day of losses.
International Brent crude oil futures fell 35 cents, or about half a percent, to $61.15 per barrel around 2:30 p.m. ET. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures ended Wednesday's session down 39 cents, or about 0.75 percent, at $52.62 per barrel.