Crude futures fall on US budget deadlock worries

21 December 2012 12:15  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Crude futures fell by more than $1/bbl on Friday amid concerns that the stand-off in US budget negotiations could threaten economic recovery in the world’s leading oil consumer.

At 11:58 GMT, February Brent crude on London’s ICE futures exchange was trading at $109.59/bbl, down by 61 cents/bbl from the previous close. Earlier, the North Sea benchmark fell to a session low of $109.15/bbl, down by $1.05/bbl.

February NYMEX light sweet crude futures (WTI) were trading at $89.15/bbl, down by 98 cents/bbl from the previous close. Earlier, the US benchmark fell to a session low of $88.68/bbl, down by $1.45/bbl.

The Republican Congressional House Speaker John Boehner failed to find sufficient backing from his own party for a proposed bill to increase taxes on wealthy Americans.

The failure to bring the bill to a vote in the US Congress and the continued disagreements between the US president and Republican leaders has heightened concerns over the ability of US lawmakers to resolve the US budget crisis.

The US budget needs to be resolved before 1 January in order to prevent the so called  “fiscal cliff” of tax rises and spending cuts, which analysts believe could derail the economy.

The outlook for the US economy had been boosted on Thursday after the Commerce Department announced that it had grown at a stronger than forecast rate of 3.1% per annum in the third quarter, up sharply on the 1.3% growth in the second quarter.


By: James Dennis
+65 6780 4327



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