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Sunday, January 04, 2015, Poush 21, 1421, Robiul Awal 12, 1436 Hijr

Oil prices hit new lows, gold dipped last week
Published : Sunday, 4 January, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 10

LONDON, Jan 3:  Oil prices extended their slide this week, kicking off the new year with 5.5-year low points, as tepid eurozone demand offset a pick-up in the US economy.
The dollar strengthened, hitting demand for commodities like crude and metals priced in the US unit.
OIL: Oil prices slumped to new 5.5-year low points Friday, the first trading day of 2015, on signs of weak manufacturing output in Europe.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in February, the US benchmark, struck $52.03 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for February tumbled to $55.48 -- the lowest levels since mid-2009.
"With global manufacturing weakening, from China to the USA to Europe, and Russia and Iraq making production gains, for oil the New Year is much the same as the old year -- abysmal," noted Connor Campbell, analyst at Spreadex traders.
WTI lost 46 percent of its value this year and Brent was down 48 percent, with most of the freefall happening since June, when prices were above $100.
Rising US and Canadian oil production has contributed to ample global supplies at a time of slowing growth in China, the world's largest energy consumer, and other emerging-market economies, a recession in Japan and a near-stall in the 18-nation eurozone.
A decision last month by OPEC, which supplies about a third of the world's oil, to leave output unchanged despite the price plunge also rattled the market, adding further pressure on prices.
Daniel Ang, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore, pointed to expectations for a price rebound in 2015.
He said the global supply glut could likely be alleviated by current low oil prices affecting "existing shale oil rigs, causing them to shut off, keeping US crude oil production in check".
"In 2015, we believe that crude demand would be linked to how China, Japan and the eurozone perform. If we start to see the situation for these countries improve, a reversal from the demand side could happen," Ang added.
By Friday on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in February slumped to $57.02 a barrel from $60.23 on Wednesday of the previous week.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate or light sweet crude for February tumbled to $53.49 a barrel from $55.89.    ?AFP

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