Crude futures dropped in early Asian trading on Friday after the release of a report showing that US economic growth had slowed sharply, reinforcing concerns about sluggish demand in a world awash with oil.
US economic growth braked sharply in the third quarter as businesses cut back on restocking warehouses to work off an inventory glut, data showed.
Both of the main crude benchmarks are on track to post their first weekly gains in three weeks, but with oil still being added to inventories, prices are likely to be rangebound in the coming weeks, traders and analysts said.
US crude was down 24 cents at $45.82 a barrel at 0140 GMT, after rising 12 cents in the previous session. The benchmark is on track to post a gain of 2.7 percent this week.
Brent crude fell 11 cents to $48.69 a barrel after ending 20 cents lower on Thursday and is heading for an increase of 1.5 percent this week.
The sluggish US growth figures and weak home sales numbers have tempered the market’s positive reaction to government figures earlier in the week showing oil stockpiles last week had increased by 3.4 million barrels, which was below the estimate from an industry group.
That had sent prices sharply higher with US crude rallying nearly $3 a barrel.