April 15, 2009 9:34:13 am
Oil prices continued to fall in Asian trade on Wednesday as slumping US retail sales fueled worries of a slowdown in global oil demand,analysts said.
New York’s main futures contract,light sweet crude for delivery in May,eased nine cents to USD 49.32 a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for May delivery shed 12 cents to USD 51.84.
Oil prices remain under pressure after the US Commerce Department’s report released on Tuesday showed an unexpected fall in March retail sales. Analysts were expecting a 0.3 per cent rise.
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The United States is the world’s biggest energy user.
The market also continued to fret over the International Energy Agency’s forecast Friday that the global economy would contract 1.4 per cent in 2009,instead of modestly expanding.
The IEA slashed 2009 global oil demand by one million barrels per day (bpd) to 83.4 million barrels per day,about 2.4 million bpd less than in 2008 and the lowest level since 2004.
“The market is still responding to the International Energy Agency’s very poor demand outlook,” said Bart Melek of BMO Capital Markets.
“There is the realisation out there that with the global economy still very slow,it’s going to take some time to improve the demand-supply situation.”
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