NEW YORK (
) -- Oil futures were under pressure as economic growth concerns overseas and resulting questions about demand were putting a damper on markets Monday morning.
Numerous fundamental signs both foreign and at home have prompted fears of a slowdown recently. Those worries picked up Monday after
Japan's economy was said to have slowed in the second quarter, propelling China to a second-place ranking among the globe's economies.
"I do think there are growing concerns heading into fourth quarter that we're going to see some economic slowdown," said Darin Newsom, senior analyst at Telvent DTN. "We just aren't seeing any consistently bullish economic reports. In fact, we're seeing more bearish numbers both overseas and domestically."
On the Nymex, the September delivery contract for crude was losing 19 cents at $75.20 a barrel. Newsom said technical factors are leading him to conclude that a further pull down in price is in the works.
"Just going by the charts, it looks like we're going to rejoin a longer-term downtrend dip into somewhere in the low 60s, upper 50s. And fundamentally, I think that's probably right," he added, while also noting a U.S. dollar decline could provide some support. "We still have builds going on, gasoline, distillates, I think as we head into the fall and closer to Labor Day, I think we'll see this market look a little overpriced."
Among oil-related equities, the NYSE Oil index was off 0.2%, though the Philadelphia Oil Service Sector index was ahead by 0.3%. On the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was trading near flat at midday, up below 0.1%, while
was trading 0.3% higher.
Chevron also said it made what it called a "significant" offshore natural gas discovery in Western Australia, according to a press statement.
Also on the Nymex, September natural gas was shedding 13 cents to $4.20 per million British thermal units. The September heating oil contract was losing a penny at $1.99 a gallon, and September gasoline was dropping over 1-cent to $1.93 a gallon.
--Written by Sung Moss in New York