Brent crude oil falls below $50

Emma Haslett
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Prices have fallen 50 per cent since mid-2014 (Source: Getty)

The price of Brent crude oil has dipped below $50-a-barrel mark for the first time in five and a half years, marking a symbolic moment for oil.

The black stuff fell another two per cent this morning to $49.99 a barrel.

Yesterday Brent crude dipped to $51.12, following a six per cent fall on Monday, after Saudi Arabia cut prices for its European customers, while simultaneously raising them in Asia.

WTI crude dipped below $50 on Monday, meaning its price has now fallen 50 per cent since the middle of last year.

The fall is largely due to fears of an over-supply. Figures out earlier this week suggested Russian oil output is at a post-Soviet era high, while Iraqi oil exports have reached a near-35-year peak.

London-listed oil companies were among this morning's biggest fallers, with Tullow Oil falling 0.23 per cent by mid-morning and BG Group dropping 0.19 per cent.

Although investors have been hit hard by the glut in supply, others have benefited. This week alone, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons have followed Tesco by announcing cuts of 2p per litre in petrol and diesel prices.

Similarly, airline share prices rose this morning, with Ryanair's shares jumping 2.5 per cent in early trading, while shares in International Consolidated Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways, rose 1.2 per cent.

Last night, chancellor George Osborne tweeted that the falling oil price should help households.

However, Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Ava Trade, cautioned that prices could still fall further.

European markets and US futures are trading higher and following the momentum from the Asian markets. The drop in oil price stays the major concern for most investors and they are worried if the price of oil could perhaps fall in the 30 handle soon, given the glut of supply we have. Today's crude oil inventory data, which is due later this afternoon, could put more downward pressure on oil price if it shows that we have more stock pile as compared to the forecast. Although, it will not be surprising to see the price of oil fall further, perhaps by another 10 dollar, if the OPEC members do not cut the supply soon.

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