Oil prices fall in absence of US fiscal deal

Updated 04 January 2013
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Oil prices fall in absence of US fiscal deal

LONDON: Global oil prices dipped on Thursday with traders growing jittery as Democrats and Republicans remain locked in a stalemate over a deal to resolve the US fiscal cliff, analysts said.
New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in February dipped 16 cents to $89.82 a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for February reversed 29 cents to $110.07 a barrel in London midday deals.
Traders were bailing out after days of fruitless talks between rival lawmakers led by US President Barack Obama and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, IG Markets said in a report.
“The war of words continues between President Obama and Republican spokesman Boehner... As time begins to run out, traders get very nervous,” the report said.
On Wednesday, Obama leaned heavily on Republicans to come to terms on a deficit reduction deal by year’s end to avert the sweeping package of tax hikes and spending cuts.
But even as Obama said he and the Republican leadership had narrowed their differences to within “a few hundred billion dollars,” the two sides were gridlocked and rejected each other’s offers.
About $600 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts will take effect in less than two weeks, with the US economy likely to tip into recession if politicians fail to reach a deal to introduce less painful measures.


EU could compensate firms hit by US sanctions over Iran — French minister

Updated 45 min 53 sec ago
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EU could compensate firms hit by US sanctions over Iran — French minister

  • In 1996, when the United States tried to penalize foreign companies trading with Cuba, the EU forced Washington to back down by threatening retaliatory sanctions

PARIS: France is looking to see if the European Union could compensate European companies that might be facing sanctions by the United States for doing business with Iran, said French finance minister Bruno Le Maire on Sunday.
Le Maire referred to EU rules going back to 1996 which he said could allow the EU to intervene in this manner to protect European companies against any US sanctions, adding that France wanted the EU to toughen its stance in this area.
In 1996, when the United States tried to penalize foreign companies trading with Cuba, the EU forced Washington to back down by threatening retaliatory sanctions.
European firms doing business in Iran face sanctions from the United States after President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
“Are we going to allow the United States to be the economic policeman of the world? The answer is no,” Le Maire told C News TV and Europe 1 radio on Sunday.
Le Maire added it was important Italy kept its EU budget commitments, in light of plans by Italy’s new coalition government to ramp up spending — which could put Rome at odds with the EU.