Oil prices drop more than $1 per barrel
Crude oil prices were on the decline again on Tuesday despite the fact that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are rumored to be planning on another production cut in an attempt to push prices higher. Some analysts warned, however, that OPEC should make sure that its current cuts are being enforced before trying to implement further reductions. Not even the current dispute between Russia and Belarus, which is threatening supply disruptions in parts of Europe, has affected the drop in prices.
February contracts for Brent crude dropped $1.29 to $54.31 per barrel after falling to $53.64 per barrel in earlier trade. West Texas Intermediate crude deliveries for February were at $54.81 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down $1.30, after dropping as low as $53.88 per barrel earlier in the session. Prices are down more than 10 percent since the beginning of the year. Nymex gasoline fell, but less than 1 cent, to $1.4600 per gallon, while Nymex heating oil was 1.56 cents lower to $1.5415 per gallon.
In the metals markets on Tuesday, gold was 0.2 percent lower to $608.50 per troy ounce, prices again being driven by the drop in the price of crude oil. Base metals were mixed, with copper and aluminium up but zinc, nickel and tin lower. Copper was 0.2 percent higher to $5,616 per tonne on a drop in London Metal Exchange inventories, while aluminium added 1.5 percent to $2,650 per tonne. Nickel dropped 2.9 percent to $30,500 per tonne, while tin fell 3.6 percent to $10,000 per tonne with word due on Wednesday on whether eight Indonesian smelters can resume production. Zinc was 4.7 percent lower to $3,545 per tonne after LME stockpiles added 3,100 tonnes to their registered warehouses.