Oil price spurs sell off in US - New York Report

THE US stock market closed lower for a third straight session yesterday, reversing earlier gains as continued weakness in oil spurred further selling in the energy sector, while the US dollar rose on hopes for stimulus from the European Central Bank.

Trading was volatile, with the S&P 500 moving between a gain of 1.4 per cent and a drop of one per cent. The benchmark index ended off its lows of the day, but eight of the 10 primary index industries finished in negative territory.

Brent crude fell 0.7 per cent, approaching a near six-year low as the United Arab Emirates defended Opec’s decision not to cut output and traders wondered when the price rout might end.

Energy shares fell 0.7 per cent and the Dow Jones index closed down 0.15 per cent. The recent weakness in oil has been a contributor to both volatility and weakness in stocks.

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