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Brent Crude Declines a Third Day Amid U.S. Budget Talk Impasse - report

Oil slipped for a third day in London because of concern that U.S. lawmakers may fail to avert automatic spending cuts and tax increases that threaten the economy of the world's biggest crude consumer, Bloomberg reported.

It said brent crude fell as much as 0.8%, while futures in New York traded near their lowest level in almost a week. Republicans and Democrats probably won't reach an agreement on a budget deal by year-end to avoid triggering more than US$600 billion in measures known as the fiscal cliff, Senator Joseph Lieberman said on CNN's 'State of the Union' program.

Brent for February settlement was at $108.30 a barrel, down 67 cents, on the ICE Futures Europe exchange at 12.58 p.m. London time. The number of contracts changing hands was about 68% less than the 100-day average. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $19.85 a barrel to New York-traded West Texas Intermediate, from $20.31 on Dec. 21.

Crude for February delivery was at $88.45 a barrel, down 21 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices fell $1.47 to $88.66 a barrel on Dec. 21, the biggest decline since Dec. 6. The volume for all WTI futures traded was about 75% lower than the 100-day average.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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