Euro debt crisis drives crude oil prices down

Crude oil prices fell on the commodity market today, retreating from the gains they accumulated over the past week, as traders assumed a profit-taking philosophy in the wake of the lingering worries surrounding the euro zone. Though the worsening tensions in Iran managed to keep a floor under the crude oil price chart, the possibility of Greece turning down a second bailout package remained at the centre of the sector’s attention.

Brent crude oil prices for settlement in March lost 70 cents and settled at $113.88 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange in London.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for delivery in March fell $1.14 to $96.70 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The fact that Greece may bring the negotiations surrounding its second consecutive bailout package to a deadlock emerged as the main concern of traders and economists alike. If the addled nation does not begin enforcing severe austerity measures, a default will become inevitable, which in turn will likely set off a chain reaction in Europe.

The euro collapsed on the currency index as a result of Greece’s indecision, dragging the crude oil price chart along with it. Commodities such as crude oil price history and raw metals tend to falter whenever the dollar advances against the euro, as foreign investors become disinterested in the expensive products.

Analysts have stated that the profit-taking efforts are likely not over, and that the short term will probably see further losses for both Brent and WTI.

The threats that Iran has been issuing left and right since the embargos established against its oil have however kept current crude oil prices from tumbling further. The major concerns now have to do with Israel potentially launching an attack against the OPEC nation’s nuclear sites.

South Sudan also issued a statement saying that it will shut down all crude production for the time being, until the transit fee deadlock with Khartoum comes to an end.