• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Brent crude falls below $100

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 Brent crude fell below $100 a barrel for the first time since July amid signs global economic growth may slow, curbing fuel demand. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) declined to a four-month low on speculation U.S. supplies rose.

Bloomberg report showed that Brent slid as much as 2.6 percent to $98 a barrel, while WTI dropped to the lowest intraday price since December 14.

“As with many times in the past, oil has been used as the tool to express concerns about the macro economy and we are in the same situation now,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil market analyst at Energy Aspects Limited., a research company in London, who predicted on April 8 that Brent may soon drop to $100. “Brent has been under pressure due to an improvement in supplies and a lack of demand.”

Brent for June settlement fell as much as $2.63 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, and recovered to $99.80 as of 1:25 p.m. local time. The volume of all futures traded was 70 percent higher than the 100-day average for the time of day. Prices are down 10 percent this year after four annual gains. The front-month European benchmark grade was at a premium of $11.01 to WTI.

German investor confidence declined more than economists forecast in April. U.S. crude stockpiles probably climbed 1.5 million barrels last week to 390.4 million, the highest since July 1990, according to a Bloomberg survey before data today. Iran was hit by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake centered in the eastern region near the border with Pakistan and felt as far away as Abu Dhabi.