offshore

Oil prices decreased slightly today, as the US Government’s shutdown continues for the third day, increasing fears that it will damage oil demand.

Brent crude fell by 15 cents to $108.85 a barrel, while US crude was down by 17 cents to settle at $103.14, reported Reuters.

The third day of shutdown saw a fall in oil prices and other commodities, with concerns of a crisis set to hit Washington for about two weeks.

Around million government workers are home without pay and general consumer confidence has weakened, which increased fears of further slump in oil demand.

There was an improvement in oil prices after Tropical Storm Karen in the Gulf of Mexico forced oil companies to stop production operations and evacuate workers, as it headed towards a crucial part of the basin.

The Gulf of Mexico oil supplies halted after the National Hurricane Center reported on the hurricane and said it would reach the US Gulf Coast between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle over the weekend.

"Around million government workers are home without pay and general consumer confidence has weakened."

Oil prices also saw a slide due to the further easing of tensions between Iran and the US over the nuclear programme.

The US showed positivity towards Iran, by offering the possibility of providing short-term sanctions relief, in return for firm steps to slow uranium enrichment.

Investors are currently waiting for the US employment report, which is expected to be released on Friday, because of the shutdown. The report is an important key gauge on the Federal Reserve’s next stimulus strategy.


Image: Oil slips following third day of the US Government shutdown. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.

Nri