Crude oil futures have today fallen by 0.14% to 96.66USD per barrel, easing off the three-month high experienced earlier this week. Surging Italian bond yields highlighted a continuing investor unease, and increased worries that European economic growth will slow due to the ongoing debt crisis, hurting demand for oil.
European equities declined and the euro sank against the dollar as the cost of insuring against Italian default rose to a record high.
“Further deterioration of the euro-zone crisis has shifted its focus from Greece to Italy, an economy too big to be bailed out,” James Zhang, a strategist at Standard Bank Plc in London, told Bloomberg “It has spurred a general ‘risk off’ in the market.”
Oil investors awaited government data on U.S. oil inventories after a late-Tuesday report from industry showed crude stocks rose last week, but less than expected. U.S. crude oil inventories rose only 148,000 barrels, industry group American Petroleum Institute said.
In addition to oil prices falling, the euro and European stocks sank as a rally on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's pledge to resign evaporated.
By James Burgess of OilPrice.com
James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…