|01-06-2015, 08:16 PM||#1|
Crude oil hits new five-and-a-half-year low, Brent nears $52
Crude oil prices continued on falling on Tuesday to hit fresh lows, adding to a 5% loss the day before as the market continues to take in bearish catalysts.
Concerns over a supply surplus worsened after data showed Russia’s oil output reached a post-Soviet-era high last year, and as data from Iraq, OPEC’s second largest producer, showed exports at their highest level since 1980.
February Brent was last down $0.66 at $52.45 per barrel, having earlier fallen to $52.28, a level not seen since May 2009.
U.S. crude oil was down $0.58 at $49.46 a barrel, after earlier fallen to an April-2009 low of $49.32 a barrel. As of 08:15 GMT
Piling more pressure on oil prices was the U.S. dollar, which increased for the sixth consecutive month in December against a basket of major currencies.
A stronger U.S. dollar makes it more expensive for holders of other currencies to purchase oil, which lowers prices.
Cheaper oil prices are believed to boost the global economy and consumers’ purchasing power, but the extreme fall in prices has been boosting deflationary fears.
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