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LONDON: Global crude oil prices traded mixed yesterday, with investors closely following developments in the eurozone as Cyprus rethinks a controversial bailout deal, analysts said.
Brent North Sea crude for delivery in May dropped 61 cents to $108.90 a barrel in London midday deals, a day after striking a three-month low point at $107.78.
New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for April, rose 16 cents to $93.90 a barrel.
“Brent crude oil has been under renewed pressure on Tuesday, as the... economic conditions in Cyprus weigh on market sentiment,” said Myrto Sokou, an analyst at Sucden Financial brokers in London.
The US benchmark oil prices recovered modestly in New York on Monday, with some analysts saying the Cypriot economy was not large enough to have a significant impact on European and global economies.
“The market began to digest the fact that Cyprus is a very small part of the European economy,” said Gene McGillian, a broker and analyst at Tradition Energy.
Cyprus yesterday dropped a controversial levy on bank savings below 20,000 euros, sparking a warning by the central bank governor that the crucial eurozone bailout deal was now in danger of collapse.
Panicos Demetriades’s warning came as International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde urged Cyprus to meet its commitments under the ¤10bn deal sealed with eurozone partners at the weekend.
“Oil markets are likely to remain volatile for the next few days (with) investors monitoring for any spillover of the developments in Cyprus to other eurozone nations,” said Ker Chung Yang, senior investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.