Brent and WTI crude: Oil prices steady after new year sell-off

 
Jessica Morris
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Oil prices have shed nearly 20 per cent since the start of this year (Source: Getty)

Oil prices steadied today, following a brutal new year sell-off which pushed the black stuff to 12-year lows.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 0.6 per cent to $30.49 per barrel. Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate crude, the US benchmark, jumped 1.4 per cent to $30.90 per barrel.

Oil prices have shed nearly 20 per cent since the start of this year due to soaring oversupply, China's weakening economy and stock market turmoil, as well as the strong dollar which makes it more expensive for countries using other currencies to buy the black stuff.

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"With no apparent signs of strengthening demand, and only further indicators of future global supply growth, the outlook for oil prices is leading most market watchers to ratchet down estimates for oil prices in 2016 and 2017," analysts at Cenkos Natural Resources, said.

There's also anxiety over the Iran's return to the market with the United Nations' nuclear watchdog is likely to confirm on Friday that it has curtailed its nuclear programme as agreed with world powers, paving the way for sanctions to be lifted.

Iran has previously said its exports would rise by 1m barrels a day within six months of sanctions being lifted.

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