BBC News – Oil prices see further declines

13 October 2014 Last updated at 12:30 ET

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Global oil prices have fallen again amid worries about slow global growth and reports that key oil producers want to maintain current output levels.

Brent crude fell to a near four-year low of $87.74 a barrel earlier, before recovering some ground to $88.46.

US light crude oil was down $0.93 at $84.76, close to a two-year low.

Weak economic growth will cut demand for oil. In addition, Reuters reported that Saudi Arabia had indicated it could cope with lower prices.

The gloomy growth outlook weighed on stock markets at the start of trading on Monday, although shares then recovered and the UK’s FTSE 100 index was 0.4% higher at 6,366.24. In New York, the Dow Jones opened 13 points higher at 16,556.75.

Confidence ‘dismantled’

Last week, the International Monetary Fund shaved its forecast for global growth for this year from 3.4% to 3.3%.

Brent Crude Oil Futures $/barrel Last Updated at 14 Oct 2014, 16:30 ET *Chart shows local time

price change %
85.27 – -3.62 – -4.07

It said overall global growth would be held back by weakness in Japan, Latin America and Europe, with any recovery in the advanced economies “weak and uneven”.

Share values have been falling recently, with some analysts arguing they are catching up with economic reality.

Several times this year the UK’s FTSE 100 index came close to topping its all time high of 6,930.2, last reached at the end of December 1999. However, since the start of September the FTSE 100 index has lost 10%.

Alastair McCaig, market analyst at City watchers IG, said: “Just over a month ago expectations that the FTSE could break above the 7,000 level were the norm, with the index trading less than 100 points away.

“The subsequent economic data out of Germany and dismantling of confidence has not only slaughtered European markets but dragged the UK down too.”

Key changes

Although some members of the Opec oil producers’ cartel are pushing for production cuts to take the oil price back to the $100-a-barrel level, the Reuters news agency reported that Saudi Arabia had let it be known informally that it would be unlikely to push for a cut in production to boost prices even if they fell to $80 a barrel.

Oil prices have fallen 20% since June.

…(read more).

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