Oil

Oil futures expiring in January has scored a high of 109.11 and a low of 107.79 yesterday Brent today plunged in Asian trade after five consecutive days of gains, slipping below 122 a barrel on concerns that higher prices will hurt demand in the United States and China, the two biggest global consumer of oil. Trouble in the oil-exporting region in North Africa and the Middle East continues to support prices. The high prices of crude oil pushed up retail prices of fuel worldwide, adding to inflation governments are already facing pressure from rising prices of foodstuffs and raw materials. Recent data from the U.S. showed that gasoline demand and distillate have stagnated, while China increased retail prices to new heights to alleviate the burden of rising prices of crude oil to refineries state. Government data from the United States yesterday showed that gasoline demand in the world oil consumption fell 1.2 percent above last year’s levels. Demand for gasoline is to be guided by the season starts in the U.S., but high prices temper growth in consumption. China, the second largest oil consumer in the world, yesterday, which will increase the retail prices of petrol and diesel engines up to 5.5 percent of the refineries for the production of sufficient demand. Instead, South Korea, the world’s fifth largest crude oil importer, has put pressure on refiners to cut the retail price of oil as part of the fight against inflation. The uncertainty in oil markets and concern that the rally could be a way to get diluted in recent trading volumes.