Cyprus worries hit price of oil

Global oil prices have tumbled as Cyprus teetered towards a debt default and glum eurozone business data fuelled concerns about demand for crude.

The main US contract, West Texas Intermediate for May delivery, closed at US$92.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday, down US$1.05 from the day before.

The European benchmark, Brent North Sea crude for May, sank by US$1.25 to settle at US$107.47 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.

"We have a lot of pressure from Europe - the PMI number from the eurozone ... and the issue of Cyprus," said Carl Larry, president of Oil Outlooks & Opinions.

The European Central Bank warned Cyprus it would cut off emergency funding of Cypriot banks if the authorities did not clinch a bailout deal by Tuesday.

Market sentiment took a further hit after the Markit eurozone Purchasing Managers' Index fell to a four-month low of 46.5 points.


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