Brent oil snaps two-day gain

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

NEW YORK

Brent crude halted a two-day ad­vance in Lon­don be­fore Euro­pean fi­nance min­is­ters meet to dis­cuss aid for Greece amid con­cern that re­gion's debt tur­moil will con­strain fuel con­sump­tion.

Fu­tures dropped as much as 0.8 per­cent as min­is­ters pre­pare to meet to as­sess whether the lat­est round of cuts agreed by Greece are suf­fi­cient to war­rant fur­ther as­sis­tance. Saudi Ara­bian Oil Min­is­ter Ali al-Naimi said that prices, down 15 per­cent in Lon­don from this year's peak, are "good." Hedge funds and other large spec­u­la­tors cut bullish bets on West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate crude to the low­est in more than two years.

"We are no closer to a com­pre­hen­sive so­lu­tion for Europe," said Guy Wolf, a strate­gist at Lon­don-based com­modi­ties bro­ker Marex Spec­tron Group Ltd., who pre­dicts oil prices will re­cover in the first quar­ter. "While Europe re­mains a source of con­cern for the mar­ket, the global growth out­look has im­proved."

Brent for De­cem­ber set­tle­ment on the Lon­don-based ICE Fu­tures Europe ex­change was at $109.13 a bar­rel, down 27 cents, as of 9:50 a.m. lo­cal time. The Euro­pean bench­mark crude was at a pre­mium of $23.17 to New York-traded con­tracts. The spread was $23.33 on Nov. 9, the widest since Oct. 30. Crude for De­cem­ber de­liv­ery dropped 6 cents to $86.01 a bar­rel in elec­tronic trad­ing on the New York Mer­can­tile Ex­change. The con­tract rose 98 cents to $86.07 on Nov. 9, the high­est close since Nov. 6. Prices are down 13 per­cent this year.

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