Oil ends lower to finish with worst monthly performance of 2015

Crude-oil futures finished the month deeper in bear-market territory Friday, registering its worst monthly slide, on a percentage basis, since 2008 after a report indicated a rise in rig counts.


The number of U.S. oil rigs rose by five to 664, oil-services firm Baker Hughes reported Friday just before oil’s settlement. The rise in rigs stokes fears that U.S. oil producers aren’t tapping the breaks on oil production enough to soothe those concerned about global oversupply.

Already under pressure on the day from a, West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery CLU5, -3.61% shed $1.40, or 2.9%, to settle at $47.12 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. WTI finished with a weekly decline of about 2.5% and a monthly drop of 21%, according to FactSet. That places it squarely in bear-market territory.

September Brent crude oil LCOU5, -2.81% —the international benchmark—on the ICE Futures exchange lost $1.10, or 2.1%, down to settle at 52.21 a barrel. For the week, Brent is down about 5% and has given up more than 18% in July, according to FactSet data.

Oil has been wrestling with a global glut but a strong dollar also makes dollar-denominated crude more expensive for buyers in other currencies.