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News: West Texas Intermediate tumbles over five per cent

  1. Crude-oil futures fell more than 5% overnight to their lowest settlement level in nearly a week as concerns about a persistent supply glut resurfaced ahead of weekly U.S. inventory updates.

    West Texas Intermediate for delivery in March on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 5.4% to settle at US$50.02 a barrel. That was the lowest settlement level since February 4.

    Prices for the U.S. benchmark had tallied a climb of nearly 9% over the past three trading sessions, partly due to expectations that declines in active drilling rigs would help ease the oil supply surplus.

    Brent crude for March delivery, the international benchmark, closed down 3.3% at US$56.43 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

    The International Energy Agency, in its medium-term outlook released today, said it expects Brent to average US$55 a barrel in 2015, edging up to US$60 in 2016 and hitting US$73 by 2020.

    The group also said that a price recovery seemed “inevitable,” with the oil glut starting to ease as soon as the second half of the year.

    By comparison, the U.S. Energy Information Administration in a monthly report issued today forecast an average of US$58 for Brent crude and US$55 for West Texas Intermediate crude in 2015 — unchanged from the previous report.

     

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