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Slide in oil prices deepens as rising rig count, US factory data point to weaker demand

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The price of oil is sliding as traders brace for softer demand amid an increase in the number of active rigs and weak U.S. economic reports on construction spending and manufacturing activity.

PHOTO: FILE - In this July 21, 2015 file photo, an oil tanker passes a fisherman as it enters a channel near Port Aransas, Texas, heading for the Port of Corpus Christi. The price of oil slid Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, as traders braced for softer demand amid an increase in the number of active crude drilling rigs and weak U.S. economic reports on construction spending and manufacturing activity. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
FILE - In this July 21, 2015 file photo, an oil tanker passes a fisherman as it enters a channel near Port Aransas, Texas, heading for the Port of Corpus Christi. The price of oil slid Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, as traders braced for softer demand amid an increase in the number of active crude drilling rigs and weak U.S. economic reports on construction spending and manufacturing activity. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

U.S. crude was down $1.80, or 3.8 percent, to $45.32 a barrel in afternoon trading in New York Monday, the lowest price in more than four months.

Benchmark U.S. crude has been declining since reaching a high this year of $61.43 a barrel on June 10. It's down 15 percent so far this year.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, was down $2.38, or 4.6 percent, to $49.83 a barrel in London. It's down 13.percent this year.

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