Economic news

Oil firm but economic growth risks persist

Crude prices firmed on Monday after losing almost 2 percent last week, though oversupply and fuel demand risks affected investor sentiment.

Photo: Reuters

Brent crude oil futures slipped 10 cents per barrel to $60.18. U.S. WTI futures sank 5 cents to $51.15.

Both gauges dropped more than 25 percent during October and November as a supply surplus pumped in global inventories but have stabilized over the last three weeks, trading within virtually narrow ranges as crude producers have pledged to cut output.

Rising concerns over weakening growth in main markets such as China and Europe have also hit the sentiment in crude and other asset classes.

Cartel OPEC and its allies have agreed to lower production by 1.2 million barrels per day from January, in a step to be reassessed at a meeting in April. But U.S. shale production is increasing steadily, grabbing market share from the large Middle East oil producers in OPEC and making it tougher for them to bring into balance their budgets.


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