Oil prices slip on China woes, US policy suspense

31 Aug 2015

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Oil fell below $49 a barrel today Monday after its biggest two-day rally in six years last week, pressured by a supply glut and renewed concern about a hard landing for China's economy.

International benchmark Brent crude climbed 10 per cent last week but was still heading for its fourth straight monthly decline and has risen in only two of the past 14 months. Bremt was down $1.05 at $49 a barrel by 9:35 am IST (1335 GMT). US crude, which had rallied 12 per cent last week, dropped 73 cents to $44.49.

The fall came after Brent climbed 10 per cent last week, while US crude finished the week up 12 per cent.

US crude for October delivery fell 53 cents to 44.68 per barrel after settling up $2.66, or 6.3 per cent, in the previous session.

Mixed signals by US financial policymakers last week on whether the US Federal Reserve would raise interest rates next month was weighing on sentiment.

Some Fed policymakers left the door open to a September interest rate hike at an annual central bankers meeting on Friday in comments that appeared to contradict those by the New York Fed president earlier in the week who said a rate increase seemed "less compelling".

The comment came after turmoil in global markets in recent weeks following China's currency devaluation and concerns over its slowing economy.

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