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Oil Dips on Euro Zone Worry

Oil Dips on Euro Zone Worry

Oil edged lower on Monday under pressure from revived concerns about a euro zone economic slump and political uncertainty, while a North Sea production problem, worries about Iran, and potential supply disruptions limited losses.

April 24, 2012 9:10 by



Oil edged lower on Monday under pressure from revived concerns about a euro zone economic slump and political uncertainty, while a North Sea production problem, worries about Iran, and potential supply disruptions limited losses.

Euro zone business contraction deepened at a faster pace than expected in April, with the Purchasing Managers Index for the bloc’s dominant service sector falling to a five-month low, against rising predicted forecasts.

Politics added to the uncertainty after Socialist challenger François Hollande edged out French President Nicolas Sarkozy, leaving the two to fight a May 6 election run-off, and the Dutch government was set to resign in a crisis over budget cuts.

The signs of euro-zone economic and political turmoil sparked a “risk-off” trade, pushing global equities, the euro and key industrial feedstock copper lower and sending investors in the direction of perceived safe-haven assets such as the dollar and U.S. Treasuries.

Production stopped at the North Sea Buzzard oil field, Britain’s largest, following a problem with a gas compressor on the field’s newest platform over the weekend.

Production is expected to “ramp up” over the next 24-48 hours.

(Additional reporting by Peg Mackey in London and Luke Pachymuthu in Singapore; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Dale Hudson)



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