Crude prices skid toward 11-year low

Crude prices skid toward 11-year low
Updated 31 December 2015

Crude prices skid toward 11-year low

Crude prices skid toward 11-year low

LONDON: Brent crude slid back toward 11-year lows on Wednesday as US stockpiles swelled and Saudi Arabia reiterated a commitment to keep pumping oil.
US crude futures slumped more than 3 percent as US Energy Information Administration data showed stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma hub hitting record levels.
At 1550 GMT, Brent traded $1.10 lower at $36.69 per barrel, less than $1 away from 11-year lows reached last week. Front-month US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were trading at $36.67 per barrel, down $1.20, or just over 3 percent, from their settlement in the previous session.
"In all the years I have been doing this, I have never seen builds in the last week of December," said Tariq Zahir, trader at Tyche Capital Advisors in New York.
"At least for tax consequence reasons, refiners always ramp up runs at the year-end, and there's a draw. This is a first for me."
A Reuters poll estimated that data would show a 2.5-million-barrel draw in the week ended Dec. 25, but US crude stocks rose by 2.6 million barrels.
Gasoline and heating oil also posted larger-than-expected stock builds.
Crude prices have plunged by two-thirds since mid-2014 as soaring output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and the United States created a global surplus of between half a million and 2 million barrels per day.
Slowing demand growth, particularly in Asia, has also weighed on prices. China's energy consumption growth in 2015 was its lowest since 1998, according to official news agency Xinhua.
On Wednesday, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde warned that global economic growth would be "disappointing" in 2016, with the prospect of rising US interest rates and a slowdown in China contributing to a higher risk of vulnerability.