SINGAPORE (Reuters) -- U.S. crude oil prices held near more than two-month lows in early Thursday trading, after a sharp slide on concerns the market will take much longer than many anticipated to rebalance as supplies far outstrip demand.
Benchmark U.S. crude futures were at $43.15 a barrel at 00:33 GMT (8:33 a.m. EST), up 22 cents on Wednesday when prices tumbled 3 percent on the back of high production, rising U.S. stocks and an economic slowdown in Asia.
"Rising U.S. inventories continue to remain a major theme driving crude oil prices ... Iraq is also increasing pressure on U.S. shale producers. Iraq has loaded around 10 tankers in recent weeks to deliver crude to U.S. ports in November," ANZ Bank said on Thursday.
In Asia, sentiment was hit by a growing sense that the region's two biggest economies were slowing sharply after China's factory output reportedly slowed further and fears emerged that Japan's economy may have fallen into recession added to demand woes.
At the same time, emerging markets across the world are struggling with a soaring debt mountain that threatens growth.
(Editing by Richard Pullin)