Oil slumps 5 percent as global equities tumble, Saudi supply assurances

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices plunged about 5 percent on Tuesday to two-month lows as a sell-off in global equity markets raised worries about demand growth and after Saudi Arabia said it could supply more crude quickly if needed, easing concerns ahead of U.S. sanctions on Iran. Brent crude futures LCOc1 fell 4.3 percent, or $3.39, to settle at $76.44 a barrel after plunging 5 percent to $75.88, the lowest since Sept. 7. U.S. crude CLc1 ended the session at $66.43 a barrel, down $2.93, after falling 5.2 percent to a session low of $65.74, the lowest level since Aug. 20. If U.S. crude drops below $65, a psychologically important figure, that could trigger further technical selling, traders said. Both contracts notched the biggest percentage drop since July. In post-settlement trade, prices extended losses as data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed a large increase in U.S. crude inventories. [API/S] “The severity of the drop is pretty striking, but in today’s trading world we have these kind of days a little more often. Now we have to wait and see if this continues to spiral out of control,” said Gene McGillian, vice president of market research for Tradition… continue reading

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