oil

Oil prices stayed on track for a second week of straight losses today, as Cyprus continued its fight to save the country from financial meltdown, which could disrupt the eurozone’s revival and weaken its oil demand.

The EU has given Cyprus until Monday to raise money or risk exiting the currency bloc.

Brent crude slipped by seven cents to $107.40 a barrel, while US crude increased by five cents to $92.50, reported Reuters.

On Thursday, Cypriot Finance Minister Michael Sarris remained busy due to a second day of meetings with Russia to secure a loan that could help the island country to avert its debt crisis.

Cyprus has rejected terms on imposing a levy on bank deposits to guarantee an international bailout, which sparked apprehensions among investors of a debt crisis in the eurozone.

"The EU has given Cyprus until Monday to raise money or risk exiting the currency bloc."

On Thursday, trade sources said that more cargoes of North Sea Forties crude are expected to bring their loading dates forward as a result of strong production, and will support supply of the oil that sets the global Brent benchmark.

In the US, crude stocks at Cushing dropped 286,000 barrels last week, while jobless claims and housing data indicated signs of a steady recovery in the country.

Tensions in the Middle East have continued to provide some boost to the oil markets and capped further losses.

On Thursday, Russia said that Iran and six Western powers have made progress in expert-level discussions held this week to solve the disagreement over Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has threatened that the country will be forced to hit at the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa if Israel attacks its nuclear infrastructure.


Image: Cyprus needs to raise money before Monday or risk exiting from the currency bloc. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos / Rawich.

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