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No sign of oil price slump reversing

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No sign of oil price slump reversing

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Oil prices are at their lowest in five and a half years on continued worries about a glut.

US light crude has been below $49 a barrel and the other major benchmark – Brent was as low as $51.23 at one stage on Tuesday.

This comes as Saudi Arabia, the world’s top exporter, just cut its official selling prices to buyers in Europe.

Tamas Varga of PVM oil brokerage in London said: “When the Saudis are cutting prices, the markets are not going to go higher.”

“We would need an indication that Saudi Arabia is considering output cuts,” added Carsten Fritsch, a commodities analyst with Commerzbank.

The Saudis are ignoring worries about oversupply as they force prices down to make it unprofitable for US shale oil producers to operate.

It is all part of a long term battle for market share.

Adding to the oversupply Russia’s 2014 oil output hit a post-Soviet-era high and December exports from Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer, reached their highest since 1980.