US West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 65 cents, or 1.2%, to $ 52.48 a barrel, after falling 18 cents on Thursday.
Brent crude futures fell 58 cents, or 1.03 percent, to $ 55.52 a barrel, erasing a two-year gain it made on Thursday.
“In line with the more cautious atmosphere that the financial markets have shown today in Asia, the two decades have gone backwards,” said Geoffrey Haley, senior market analyst at Onda.
“The decline this morning leaves the two decades at the midpoint of their two-week ranges. They are likely to be exposed to deeper corrections if official data on US crude stocks this evening showed an unexpected rise,” he added.
The market is awaiting the official data on oil inventories issued by the US Energy Information Administration on Friday after data for the sector revealed on Wednesday a sudden increase of 2.6 million barrels in US crude stocks last week, compared with analysts’ expectations of a decrease of 1.2 million barrels.
The recovery in fuel demand in China boosted market gains late last year while the United States and Britain lagged behind in the recovery, but that source of support dissipated as a new wave of COVID-19 infections triggered new restrictions to contain the spread.