Oil tumbled today as global growth fears cast a dark cloud over signs that the embattled market could be starting to recover.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, slumped 1.30 per cent to $49.70 per barrel, dropping for the fourth consecutive day. Meanwhile, the US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate crude, shed 1.40 per cent to $48.20.
"Oil is under pressure from global growth fears and a strong US dollar ahead of US stockpile data," Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said. US government data on oil stocks will be released on Wednesday.
The black stuff suffered due to a stronger greenback, making the dollar-priced commodity more expensive to buy using a foreign currency. Recent polls, which showed Britain's "Leave" campaign was in the lead ahead of the EU referendum on 23 June, also weighed.
Economists, analysts and commentators have said that Brexit could tip Europe back into recession, ramping up pressure on the already sluggish global economy.
The negative sentiment overrode yesterday's forecast from Opec which showed the global oil market would be more balanced in the second half of 2016. It said supply outages in Nigeria and Canada would quicken the erosion of a supply glut.
But not everyone was convinced. Mihir Kapadia, chief executive at Sun Global Investments, said: "There are some that think that the recent recovery in prices is due to temporary supply issues and not to do with any strengthening demand on the back of a robust global economy."