oil

Oil prices steadied today, as concerns over increasing US inventories and weak global demand predictions were counteracted by supply concerns tied to Middle East tensions.

Brent crude fell by 23 cents to $105.70 a barrel, while US oil declined by 24 cents to $97.60 a barrel, reported Reuters.

The European benchmark recorded an intraday peak of $106.64 last week, marking its highest since 9 April, on geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

The International Energy Agency (IEA), Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) have predicted a grim global oil demand outlook.

The oil market is also apprehensive ahead of the US Federal Reserve meeting, which is commencing on Tuesday.

Investors will closely observe Chairman Ben Bernanke’s press conference to get a clearer picture of how and when the central bank will cut back its stimulus programme.

"The European benchmark recorded an intraday peak of $106.64 last week, marking its highest since 9 April."

On Monday, the ongoing civil war in Syria is expected to be the main talking point during a meeting between US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Both nations are trying to find common ground to bring Syria President Bashar al-Assad to the negotiating table and end the two-year civil war.

Although Syria is not an important global oil supplier, investors are still concerned that the ongoing civil war could drag in other neighbouring nations and engulf the whole region in conflict.


Image: IEA, OPEC and US EIA predicted a bleak global oil demand outlook. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.

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