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Wednesday, January 14, 2015, Magh 1, 1421, Robiul Awal 22, 1436 Hijr

Oil heads to 6-year low
Published : Wednesday, 14 January, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 8

HONG KONG, Jan 13:  Energy stocks took a hit in Asian trade Today as oil prices fell towards six-year lows, with warnings of further volatility ahead, but some rare upbeat Chinese trade data boosted Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Tokyo fell 0.64 percent, or 110.02 points to finish at 17,087.71, although it pared initial losses as the yen weakened in afternoon trade.
Sydney fell 0.33 percent, or 18.01 points, to 5,404.7 and Seoul closed 0.20 percent lower, giving back 3.81 points to 1,917.14.
However, Hong Kong was up 0.62 percent in late trade and Shanghai gained marginally.
Crude sank again Monday after Wall Street investment titan Goldman Sachs slashed its price outlook for the commodity, adding to anxiety about a global oversupply, weak demand and soft growth in the key Chinese and European markets.
The warning sent US shares tumbling, with the Dow down 0.54 percent, the S&P 500 off 0.81 percent and the Nasdaq tumbling 0.84 percent.
There is no escaping crude's effect on global markets," Evan Lucas, a markets strategist in Melbourne at IG Ltd., said, according to Bloomberg News. "This will see first-half volatility ramping up throughout the globe."
In early Asian exchanges oil prices continued their descent after Monday's pummelling.
Brent crude for February delivery fell $1.33 to $46.10 a barrel -- around its lowest point since April 2009. On Monday it had plunged more than five percent to end below $50.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate shed $1.13 cents to $44.94 -- its weakest levels since March 2009 -- a day after losing 4.7 percent.
The weakness filtered through to Asian energy companies. In Sydney BHP Billiton ended down 1.89 percent and Woodside Petroleum fell 1.73 percent by the close, while in late trade CNOOC in Hong Kong was 1.32 percent lower.
Tokyo-listed Inpex shed 2.59 percent and Showa Shell gave up 2.76 percent.
Shanghai and Hong Kong reversed initial losses following the release of Chinese trade figures.
The General Administration of Customs said exports rose 9.7 percent year-on-year in December, while imports fell 2.4 percent. That resulted in an almost doubling of the country's trade surplus during the month.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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