Brent crude slips, but off low as euro rises

Mon Jun 4, 2012 1:07pm EDT
 
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By Robert Gibbons

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Brent crude prices fell on Monday, still feeling pressure from concerns that slowing U.S. and Chinese economies and the euro zone crisis will curb petroleum demand, but having recovered from a 16-month low hit early in the session as the euro rose against the dollar.

U.S. crude futures seesawed near unchanged after turning higher near the start of open outcry trading in New York.

The euro strengthened and European equities rose after last week's batch of grim global economic data fueled hopes that there is a greater likelihood of central bank policy action to stimulate growth and optimism that European leaders will fashion a plan to ease the region's debt crisis. <USD/> .EU

"Europe's stock market stabilized, and the euro bounced and the dollar weakened, on the hope there will be central bank stimulus to stop the bleeding and that pulled crude off the early lows," said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized nations will hold a conference call on Tuesday morning to discuss the European debt crisis, a spokeswoman for Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said.

Leaders from the larger Group of 20 leaders will meet in Mexico June 18-19, with Europe likely to dominate the agenda.

Brent July crude fell 60 cents to $97.83 a barrel by 12:48 p.m. EDT (1648 GMT), down a fifth straight session and dropping as low as $95.63, the lowest intraday price since January 26, 2011.

U.S. July crude was unchanged at $83.23, also down a fifth day. Prices fell to $81.21 intraday, the lowest since prices were last under $80 a barrel on October 6, 2011.   Continued...

 
A worker is silhouetted as he walks past fuel storage tanks at an oil refinery in Melbourne June 21, 2010. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas