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Oil hits fresh 2012 low in electronic trading

Published: May 15, 2012 | 8:03 am
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SYDNEY — Crude oil futures extended declines in electronic trading Tuesday, hitting a fresh 2012 low, as the possibility Greece will exit the euro zone sidelined equity and commodity investors.

Crude for June delivery CLM2 +0.21% lost 49 cents, or 0.5%, to $94.26 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange during Asian trading hours.

Oil hit its lowest settlement since Dec 19. in the North American session on Monday after Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said prices are too high, while Greece’s escalating crisis drove demand for the U.S. dollar and pressured commodities.

Speculation concerning the impact of a Greek exit from the euro zone rose on Tuesday, as the political impasse stretched into a second week with no agreement on a unity government. Read more on Greece’s political turmoil.

Greek president Karolos Papoulias found little support for a technocrat government late Monday, according to reports, and the ongoing political turmoil depressed equity and commodity markets in Asian trading on Tuesday. Read more on Asia markets

On the supply front, the American Petroleum Institute will issue weekly U.S. oil inventory data later Tuesday, followed by the more closely watched Energy Information Administration report on Wednesday.

Analysts polled by Platts expected a 1.5-million-barrel build for the week ending May 11.

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