Oil Lower as Asian, European Equities Slump; Gold Falls as Safe Haven Allure Sags

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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 pound.

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 ( BP ) 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 ( AQP ) 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 ( XTR ), Anglo Platinum Ltd ( AMS ), and Aquarius among other companies to clear up misunderstandings, according to the Department of Mineral Resources.



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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: AMS , AQP , BP , XTR

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