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Crude Oil Prices Fall in Aftermath of Japan Devastation

Commodities / Crude Oil Mar 16, 2011 - 02:22 AM GMT

By: LiveCharts

Commodities

Oil prices are trading well below $100 as the news following Japan’s 8.9 earthquake last week continues to get worse.

The Japanese government continues to advise of possible nuclear meltdowns and has made multiple mentions of radiation concerns around the northeast Japan region.


One barrel of light sweet crude oil futures trades at $98.67 in mid-afternoon trade on the New York NYMEX. This is down $2.52 from Monday’s settle price and is nearly $8 below recent near-term highs.

Analysts continue to point out that Japan is likely to increase use of oil in the long-term. The country is the third largest importer of oil.

Speculators are concerned about the major hit on the country’s economy in the short run following the earthquake and subsequent tsunamis that have killed an estimated 10,000 people.

The Federal Reserve concluded its monetary policy meeting Tuesday afternoon by holding key interest rates low.

Expectations that the Fed would maintain its no to low rate policy for the time being has sparked renewed dollar selling, which is surprising give declines in oil prices. The euro trades at $1.39976. The pound gets $1.60952.

The dollar is also once again dealing with a historic low against the yen with a current rate 80.925 yen.

Despite holding steady on rates, Central Bank leaders had to address increased concerns about inflation. The minutes of the meeting refuted any major concerns among Fed leaders that inflation is becoming a problem.

Fed leaders have been careful to avoid making statements that are too bold about a change in policy soon as they do not want to inhibit promising developments on the economic growth front.

Meanwhile, lower oil prices and a weaker dollar remain among the economic results of the tragic situation faced by the people of Japan.

Neil Kokemuller

LiveCharts.co.uk

Neil Kokemuller is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Des Moines Area Community College in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. He has a MBA from Iowa State University. He is also in house stock market commentator at Live Charts UK, where you can find real time charts and share prices .

Copyright © 2011 Live Charts

Please note: The information provided in this article is intended for informational and entertainment purposes, and not as advice for financial decisions or investments. Actions taken on the basis of the information shared is at the sole risk and discretion of the individual. Currency investment poses significant risk of loss.

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