Oil prices pose a threat despite drop: IEA chief

AFP, Tuesday 5 Jun 2012

Recent moderation in global prices could be just a passing phenomenon, according to energy agency

The head of the International Energy Agency warned Tuesday the recent moderation in world oil prices remained fragile and that high prices still poised a threat to world economies.

Brent oil prices sank under $100 a barrel on Friday for the first time in eight months, hit by weak Chinese data and eurozone debt worries, but the IEA's executive director Maria van der Hoeven said it was too soon to celebrate.
"We still confront a situation where these near-triple-digit oil prices -- and in some cases it's made worse by local currency weakness -- are placing a huge burden on both domestic and national budgets," van der Hoeven said.
"That's still the case. And this has obviously contributed to the risk of an economic slowdown," she told reporters at the World Gas Conference in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.
On Tuesday, New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery, rose 76 cents to $84.74 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for July rose 50 cents to $99.35.
Van der Hoeven said the oil market was "well supplied" with OPEC, the bloc of oil-exporting countries, releasing extra oil.
But she added: "Let's not say victory because that's too early."
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