(CNBC) — Oil prices fell for a sixth session to a new 12-year low on Monday as slowing growth in China rattled investors' hopes for demand this year and traders increased bets against any near-term recovery.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down $2.06 at $31.10 per barrel by 1:20 p.m. EDT (1820 GMT), having briefly dipped below $31 to the lowest level since December 2003. Brent crude futures were down by $2.15 at $31.40 a barrel, after falling to the lowest level since April 2004.
Speculators increased their net-short positions to a record high in the week to last Tuesday, in a sign that they are losing faith in a price rise anytime soon.
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