Greece questions austerity measures, oil investments fall
Crude oil futures fell on global cues today, dipping down to around $114 per barrel, as both traders and economists focused their concerns on the potential second consecutive discord surrounding Greece’s bailout package. Though mounting tensions in Iran kept a floor under futures, the Greek situation forced the debt crisis in the euro zone back into the spotlight, causing a respective drop in crude oil prices.
Brent crude oil prices for settlement in March lost 43 cents to $114.15 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange in London. Oil investments in the European benchmark commodity have been on the rise for four consecutive sessions prior to the loss. A significant drop-off in unemployment claims in the US bolstered the fuel to reach near three months peaks.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for delivery in March lost 77 cents and ended the intraday trading at $97.07 per barrel. Oil investments in the American contract have been suffering over the past week due to inventory build-ups in Cushing, Oklahoma.
Analysts have expressed their fears that unless the euro zone situation betters itself, traders will likely commence another round of profit-taking, causing both benchmarks to tumble down the charts. Greece’s government is expected to pass a ruling on the new bailout package on offer later today. Though the terms of the bailout are far from perfect, the addled nation needs it in order to stay afloat financially and avoid a default. If Greece does accept the austerity measures proposed, Brent has a strong chance of rising above the resistant $115 per barrel mark, which will in turn detract traders from profit-taking.
Oil-based investment strategies did have some support on the charts, as Iran continued to issue threats against its mounting bans. The nation’s Revolutionary Guard’s deputy commander stated on Sunday that any country, which allows to be used as a launch-pad for attacks, will be targeted by Iran. President Obama stated repeatedly that he did not want further tensions to arise out of the region.