Oil prices hit a 17-month low on China slowdown fears
Published: 8th Jun 2012 18:05:07
Oil prices have dropped to $98.06 in London - their lowest in 17-months on fears of waning economic growth in China.
The New York benchmark oil price was also lower, falling to 1.4% to $82.99 in early trade.
Brent Crude is now down 28% from its March peak as traders bet on reduced demand from Chinese factories.
However, the resulting lower fuel and raw material costs could lower bills for firms and households.
The world's biggest exporter of crude oil, Saudi Arabia, started to scale back shipments in June.
The lead member of the Opec oil cartel had been pumping more than 9.5 million barrels of oil a day for the past year in an attempt to offset hoarding by countries afraid that increased Middle East tensions might disrupt global supply.
At it's peak in April 2011 the world US benchmark West Texas Intermediate was trading at nearly $114 a barrel. Saudi policy had been to lower the price to approximately $100 per barrel.
A fall of more than 20% from its peak price is often defined as a bear market.
The sharp turnaround in oil prices has been mirrored by other commodity prices in recent months. Silver spot prices are down 23% to $1424 per troy ounce. Platinum prices have fallen 17%.
Gold, the traditional safe-haven for investors fleeing volatile stock markets and fragile banks, has fared better. It's down 14% at $1,586.
The price of base metals, such as copper used in construction industries hit by the downturn in government spending and property markets around the world, is also down.
The three-month benchmark contract traded in London has fallen 14% this year.
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Oil prices hit a 17-month low on China slowdown fears [Online] (Updated 8th Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1433536/Oil-prices-hit-a-17-month-low-on-China-slowdown-fears [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com