Weak Demand Forces Crude Oil Futures Lower on Thursday

Oil prices ended sharply lower on Thursday due to weak energy demand despite a Gulf of Mexico Category 3 hurricane churning off the Texas coast, according to Bloomberg MarketWatch.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, October West Texas Intermediate crude fell 98 cents, or 2%, to settle at $47.43 a barrel—the lowest finish in a week.

October Brent crude, the global benchmark, lost 53 cents, or 1%, to end trading at $52.04 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

Tropical Storm Harvey became a hurricane Thursday, with the National Hurricane Center warning that it expects it to become a “major” hurricane before it reaches the middle Texas coast on Friday. The hurricane has already hurt energy operations in the region.

September natural gas added 2,1 cents, or 0.7%, to settle at $2.949 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange.