Oil is lower in early morning trade as equities markets in Asia
and Europe slide amid concerns about the U.S. economic outlook in
particular. Traders will be looking closely at the release of the
latest weekly U.S. crude inventories data by the American Petroleum
Institute later in the day, as well as the weekly data compiled by
the U.S. Department of Energy to be released Wednesday morning for
further clues on energy demand.
Gold fell to its lowest level in two months in London trading as
its allure as a safe haven has weakened due to a strengthening euro
against the greenback.
At 0755 ET, Brent crude is down 0.6% at $75.18 a barrel, while
light sweet crude is 0.3% lower at $76.34 a gallon, and natural gas
is down 0.6% at $4.49 a million British thermal units.
Gold is down 0.3% at $1,177.90 an ounce, while silver is down
0.1% at $17.52 an ounce, and copper is up 0.7% at $2.96 a
The International Energy Agency reported that China now tops the
list as the world's biggest energy user, surpassing the United
States. The Paris-based agency said that China used 2,252 million
metric tons of oil equivalent in 2009, compared to 2,170 million
tons by the United States.
BP plc (
) said it will keep its Macondo oil well in the Gulf of Mexico shut
as a leak of methane gas from the site has been found not to pose a
threat. Shares in the oil giant are down nearly 2% pre-market on
the NYSE while British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to
defend the London-based company when he meets with President Barack
Obama at the White House later in the day.
In the mining sector, Aquarius Platinum Ltd (
) rose to its highest level in nearly two years as the South
African government said its mines safety directive was not intended
to stop mining. The government had announced new mining rules
following the death of five miners in the country this month alone.
Since then, government officials and executives from Xstrata plc (
), Anglo Platinum Ltd (
), and Aquarius among other companies to clear up
misunderstandings, according to the Department of Mineral
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