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Oil extends losses, nears $33 a barrel

02:40 PM | 7 Jan, 2016
Oil extends losses, nears $33 a barrel
SINGAPORE (APP) - Oil prices plunged close to $33 a barrel on Thursday as crude extended losses on rising US energy stockpiles and China's weakening currency.

At 0615 GMT, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for February delivery was down 88 cents, or 2.59 percent, at $33.09, the lowest since touching $32.40 in December 2008 during the global financial crisis.

In London, Brent crude for February delivery, the European benchmark, was down $1.46, or 3.5 percent, at $32.77.

It had closed below $35 for the first time in more than 11 years at $34.23 a barrel on Wednesday. The last time the price of Brent was so low was in July 2004.

Oil erased earlier gains in Asian hours after the People's Bank of China on Thursday weakened the yuan to the lowest since March 2011, a reminder of the August cut that sparked market turmoil.

"Given that oil moved directly after the fixing, that would indicate Chinese demand is going to be hurt by the weaker currency," Angus Nicholson, a market analyst at IG Ltd. in Melbourne, told Bloomberg News.

Demand for crude tends to fall when the US dollar is stronger against currencies of purchasing countries. China is the world's biggest energy consumer.

The US Department of Energy's weekly report on Wednesday showed a sharp drop in US commercial crude inventories of 5.1 million barrels to 482.3 million barrels in the week ending January 1.

"What was unexpected was the overwhelming inventory increase in gasoline and diesel fuel -- the extent of the gasoline inventory build was a very big surprise," said Andy Lipow of Lipow Oil Associates.

"The petroleum product inventory build has led to pressure on crude oil prices because it impacts refining margins and they (refiners) might ultimately cut their demand for crude oil," Lipow said.

The government data also showed a gain in US crude production of 17,000 barrels a day, taking it to 9.22 million barrels a day, the fourth straight week of increases, and a rise in stockpiles at the Cushing oil hub in Oklahoma.

The author is working as Editor Digital Media for Daily Pakistan and can be reached @ItsSarfrazAli.

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US Dollar, Euro, Dirham, Pound, Riyal Rate in Pakistan Today - Currency Rates 20 July 2024

Pakistani rupee rates against US Dollar and other currencies on July 20, 2024 (Saturday) in open market.

USD to PKR Rate Today

US dollar was being quoted at 279.15 for buying and 280.85 for selling. Euro's buying rate remains stable at 301.35 and selling rate is 303.25.

British Pound rate is 354.85 for buying, and 358.35 for selling. UAE Dirham AED was at 76.5 and Saudi Riyal lowered to 73.70.

Currency Rates Today

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.15 280.85
Euro EUR 301.35 303.25
UK Pound Sterling GBP 354.85 358.35
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.5 77.25
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.7 74.42
Australian Dollar AUD 184.75 186.55
Bahrain Dinar BHD 741.15 749.15
Canadian Dollar CAD 203.5 205.5
China Yuan CNY 38.35 38.75
Danish Krone DKK 40.05 40.45
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.7 36.05
Indian Rupee INR 36.05 36.05
Japanese Yen JPY 1.91 1.99
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.25 917.35
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.95 59.75
New Zealand Dollar NZD 169.24 171.24
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.04 26.34
Omani Riyal OMR 722.87 730.89
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.39 77.09
Singapore Dollar SGD 202 204
Swedish Korona SEK 26.4 26.7
Swiss Franc CHF 309.05 311.55
Thai Bhat THB 7.5 7.65

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