Oil prices extended declines on Tuesday, sliding toward $38 on growing economic worries after U.S. stocks slumped to a 12-year low at the previous day's close.
Wall Street shares tumbled on Monday as optimism over reports that the U.S. government could take a bigger stake in Citigroup
U.S. oil crude for April delivery fell 34 cents to $38.10 by 0613 GMT (1:13 a.m. EST), after earlier hitting an intraday low of $37.65, while London Brent crude lost 28 cents to $40.71.
The global financial crisis is still at hand, making oil prices drift lower along with other commodities, said Victor Say, an analyst at Informa Global Markets.
The economic data is not at all rosy, and if nothing comes out of the U.S. on plans to rescue the banks in the next couple of days, oil prices will go down, probably even below $36.
Asian stocks fell on Tuesday, with Japan's Nikkei <.N225> down 1.5 percent and South Korean shares <.KS11> falling 3.2 percent.
Global energy consumption has collapsed as the financial crisis throws a raft of major economies into a recession, prompting oil prices to tumble nearly $110 since peaking in July.
Oil's decline on Tuesday was curbed by a report that OPEC's supply was likely to fall in February as members enforced a deal to cut output, increasing the group's scope to slow production further at a March 15 meeting, traders said.
The 11 members with quotas, all except Iraq, had reduced output by 3.8 percent to 25.3 million barrels per day in February, according to industry consultant PetroLogistics Ltd.
Iran's local media reported that its OPEC governor had said the producer might decide to cut output again next month if crude prices fell further. Along with Iran, Venezuela and Iraq said last week that OPEC was prepared to cut production again.
Investors are eyeing U.S. oil inventory data, which is likely to show a 1.9 million barrel increase in U.S. crude stocks last week, according to a preliminary Reuters poll.
And later in the day the market will closely watch Federal Chairman Ben Bernanke's policy report to U.S. Congress on new bank rescue programs and President Obama's 2010 fiscal year budget proposal to a joint session of Congress.
(Editing by Ben Tan)