Indian crude oil basket falls $2 as Brexit spurs market concerns

Indian crude oil basket falls $2 as Brexit spurs market concerns

New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) The Indian basket of crude oil fell nearly $2 per barrel under a week, closing trade on Tuesday at $45.35 as oil prices suffered the biggest two-day loss since February with the Brexit vote spurring market concerns about the economic stability of the UK and eurozone, triggering massive risk aversion among investors.

The Indian basket, composed of 73 per cent sour grade Dubai and Oman crudes and the rest sweet grade UK Brent, closed trade last Thursday at $47.26 per barrel and closed the week on Friday at $46.11.

The price of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) basket of 13 crudes slipped to $44.46 a barrel on Tuesday, compared to $44.88 on Friday, having already lost over a dollar from its closing price on Thursday, according to the OPEC Secretariat.

The West Texas Intermediate for August delivery on Monday lost $1.31 to settle at $46.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for August delivery decreased $1.25 to close at $47.16 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

Oil prices were also brought under pressure by a much-stronger US dollar on Monday. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, was up 1.16 per cent at 96.559 in late trading.

Oil prices have recently surged nearly 90 per cent, from a 12-year low in January, on a weaker US dollar.

OPEC, which accounts for 40 per cent of global crude output, said in a statement following its meeting in Vienna earlier this month when it decided against an output cut, that its members were committed to a “stable and balanced oil market and that the market is moving through the balancing process”.

OPEC member Iran has been ramping up production to its pre-sanctions levels despite the recent supply glut, and this has been balanced by disruptions in Canada, Libya, Nigeria and Venezuela.

Making their last fortnightly revision in fuel prices on June 16, India’s state-run oil marketing companies had hiked prices of petrol marginally by 5 paise a litre, and of diesel by Rs 1.26, both at Delhi, with corresponding increase in other states.

Petrol per litre currently costs Rs 65.65 in Delhi, Rs 68.50 in Kolkata, Rs 70.23 in Mumbai and Rs 65.65 in Chennai.

Similarly, diesel costs Rs 55.19 in Delhi, Rs 57.39 in Kolkata, Rs 60.55 in Mumbai and Rs 56.78 in Chennai.

Meanwhile, the US dollar declined against most major currencies after soaring for two sessions on Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

In late New York trading on Tuesday, the euro rose to $1.1046 from $1.1019 in the previous session, while the dollar bought 102.77 Japanese yen, higher than 101.99 in the previous session.

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