US congress

Oil prices fell again today as worries about demand growth over the financial woes in the United States and the European Union continued.

Brent crude fell by 51 cents to $108.56 a barrel while US crude fell 49 cents to $85.08, reports Reuters.

However, geopolitical worries in the Middle East have capped the sliding oil prices from dropping further.

Asian shares were also impacted by caution over a US fiscal policy standoff and uncertainty regarding the eurozone’s debt problems.

US lawmakers have planned to gather in Washington on Tuesday to reach an agreement on scheduled tax hikes and budget cuts that have been threatening the country’s economic stability again.

"US lawmakers have planned to gather in Washington to reach an agreement on scheduled tax hikes."

Lawmakers are yet to arrive at a conclusion on whether to extend tax cuts for everyone, as Republicans want, or just do it for those earning less than $250,000 a year, as the President wants, in an attempt to avoid the jolt of $600bn in deficit-reduction measures agreed in August 2011.

In Europe, global lenders have stopped giving further aid to debt-stricken Greece, but gave the country two more years to make the cuts demanded of it.

Meanwhile Iran’s plan to launch a massive military drill across half the country has caused a major supply concern from the region.

It is expected that about 8,000 elite and regular army troops will participate in the Iranian military drill, which will be backed by bombers and fighter planes, according to a Iranian TV channel.


Image: US lawmakers have planned to meet on Tuesday with a seven-week deadline to reach agreement on fiscal cliff. Photo courtesy of Lawrence Jackson.