Oil Down Almost 10% In 2 Days As Hunt For Bottom Continues



Reuters

NEW YORK, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Global oil markets slumped for a fourth straight session on Tuesday, as mounting worries about a supply glut pressured crude prices, which are down almost 10 percent this week to hit their lowest since spring 2009.

Traders said the trend for crude seemed lower, but prices could bounce up whenever there is a break in market sentiment. One such moment occurred on Tuesday when weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data briefly suppressed the dollar. This brought crude off session lows, but only for an about an hour before the downward path resumed.

Refined products such as gasoline and heating oil also bounced up briefly in morning trade, rallying as investors took profits on short positions. But products later succumbed to the trend, and gasoline settled 2 percent down.

Crude oil prices have plunged more than 55 percent since June, when benchmark Brent traded above $115 a barrel and U.S. crude above $107.

In Tuesday's session, Brent settled down $2.01 at $51.10 a barrel. It came close to testing the $50 support, falling to a May 2009 low of $50.52.

In the first two days of this week, Brent has lost $5.32, or almost 10 percent.

U.S. crude finished down $2.11, or 4.2 percent, at $47.93, after plumbing an April 2009 low at $47.55.


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