Oil drops below $32 a barrel for the first time since April 2004

02:35AM Tue 12 Jan, 2016

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 $1.55 at $31.61 per barrel by 11:35 a.m. EDT (1635 GMT), having fallen to the lowest level since December 2003. Brent crude futures were down by $1.76 at $31.79 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. Analysts pointed to China's slowdown, which saw a slide in the yuan and two emergency suspensions in stock trading markets last week, as the main reasons for lower oil and commodity prices.   Reuters