WTI, Brent oil plunge to multi-year lows after Saudi Arabia cuts prices

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Investing.com - West Texas Intermediate and Brent oil futures lost more than 2% on Tuesday, after Saudi Arabia lowered prices to buyers in the U.S. and amid ongoing concerns over the health of the global economy.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in December fell to a session low of $75.92 a barrel, a level not seen since October 4, 2011.

Prices recovered to last trade at $76.93 a barrel during U.S. morning hours, down $1.85, or 2.35%.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent for December delivery lost $2.13, or 2.47%, to hit $82.69 a barrel. Futures fell to$82.10 earlier in the day, the lowest level since October 2010.

Saudi Arabia on Monday cut its selling price for oil to the U.S., suggesting that the kingdom is trying to compete with U.S. shale oil for market share.

Oil prices came under additional pressure after the European Union lowered its 2014 growth forecast for the euro zone earlier in the day, citing the tensions in Ukraine and the Middle East along with a lack of investment.

The agency said it now expects gross domestic product in the single currency bloc to grow 0.8% this year, down from 1.2% growth it forecast this spring. In 2015, the euro zone economy will likely grow 1.1%, down from a previous forecast of 1.7%.

Meanwhile, oil traders awaited the release of fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products to gauge the strength of demand in the world's largest oil consumer.

The American Petroleum Institute will release its inventories report later in the day, while Wednesday's government report could show crude stockpiles rose by 1.9 million barrels in the week ended October 31.

London-traded Brent prices have fallen nearly 27% since June, when it climbed near $116, while WTI futures are down almost 28% from a recent peak of $107.50 in June.

Concerns over weakening global demand combined with indications that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will not cut output to support oil markets have weighed on prices in recent weeks.

Some market analysts believe that only a cut in production by the oil cartel will halt the decline in prices.

Oil ministers from the 12-member group are scheduled to meet in Vienna on November 27 to consider whether to adjust their production target for early 2015.

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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.

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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