Oil prices spiral to $50 per barrel

Crude fell to the lowest level in a year and a half as concerns over the global economy and turbulence in Washington overshadowed signals from OPEC that it may deepen output cuts.

Futures slid 6.7% in a shortened Christmas Eve session in New York, joining a rout in U.S. stocks as investors assess the threat from a government shutdown. The latest tumble left crude prices down 44% since reaching a four-year peak in October — including a 19% falloff since OPEC and Russia announced major output cuts earlier this month.

West Texas Intermediate for February delivery fell $3.06/bbl to $42.53/bbl at settlement on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Total volume traded Monday was about 30% below the 100-day average ahead of the Christmas holiday Tuesday. WTI peaked near $77/bbl in early October. Brent for February settlement dipped $3.35/bbl to $50.47/bbl on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Source: World Oil

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