NewsFears of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe drives oil prices lower
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AnalysisOil prices fell in early trading today on the back of the U.S dollar’s appreciation against other major currencies, as well as renewed concerns about the sovereign debt crisis in Europe as the EU finance ministers start their meetings in Brussels today to discuss the possibility of giving Greece additional aid.

Crude oil futures for June settlement opened today at $99.36 a barrel recording the intraday high so far at $99.40 and the low at $98.13 a barrel, and currently hovering around $98.68 with a decline of $0.97 or by 0.97% a barrel. At the end of Friday’s trading crude settled slightly higher by $0.68 or 0.69% ending $99.65 a barrel.

The dollar gained grounds this morning according to the dollar index (the measures of the dollar’s performance versus its six major trading partners) which was one of the factors that drove commodities lower and especially oil. The index is trading at this time around $75.66 after reaching the high of $75.99 and the low of $75.61.

In the same context, renewed fears about the sovereign debt crisis in Europe cast its shadow on investors’ sentiment; fears are coming this time from Greece which sparked the crisis last year, as it’s trying to acquire additional aid, which will be discussed today in Brussels between the European Union finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund.

These fears affected negatively investors’ sentiment and were obvious in markets with high risks, European stock markets fell to their lowest in a week, FTSE100 index for UK stocks fell 10.95 points or by 0.18% to record 5914.92, and the DAX fell about 55.64 points or by 0.75%.

Also, Brent crude contracts for June delivery declined $0.68 or by 0.60% to trade around $113.15 a barrel.