Both Brent and WTI oil prices are seeing big falls in trading today as stock markets in Asia and Europe have fallen sharply amid fears that Japan’s earthquake may undermine supply chains for global manufacturers, hitting oil prices, other commodities several percentage points.
Latest Brent Oil Price
In London, Brent crude oil futures for April 2011 delivery was trading at $109.04 a barrel, 12.00 GMT on the ICE Futures Exchange.
Latest WTI Oil Price
US Light crude oil futures for April 2011 delivery was trading at $97.45 a barrel, 12.00 GMT on the NYMEX.
Both oil futures contracts have fallen around five percent since open today and await the US market reaction.
Stock Market Falls Lead Oil Prices Lower
Earlier today, the German stock market fell five percent, led by tech companies and carmakers which rely on Japanese suppliers for crucial parts, before recovering somewhat. Companies linked to the nuclear energy industry were also badly hurt.
Meanwhile, the Japanese market plunged again on fears of a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, with the Nikkei 225 shed 10.6% on Tuesday to 8,605, and had been down 14 percent at one point, registering its biggest two day drop in 40 years.
Investors are fleeing risky assets including oil futures, pouring their money into safer havens instead.
However earlier today, the IEA held its 2011 global oil product demand growth forecast at 1.4 million barrels per day, adding that oil demand in Japan may climb by about 200,000 barrels per day if the country makes up the shortfall in nuclear power with crude fired generation.