Oil prices eased on Tuesday as the market remained oversupplied and as the dollar gained on fears Greece could exit the euro zone. Greece paid about 750 million euros (537 million pounds) to the International Monetary Fund late on Monday, a day before it was due, two Greek finance ministry officials told Reuters, but it was not enough to stop worries over future payments.
“Just hours before the loan was due, Greece brought relief to the markets by ordering payment. But don’t be too happy just yet,” Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Capital warned. “The four month extension of Greece’s bailout plan, agreed in February, expires next month. This means for the rest of May, Greece will be locked into debating another extension of its bailout plan.”
Reflecting cautious market sentiment, June Brent crude was down 17 cents to $64.74 a barrel by 0240 GMT. June West Texas Intermediate (WTI) dropped 9 cents to $59.16 a barrel. The most recent price falls came after months of rallies which saw Brent climb 40 percent since its January lows, but many analysts say that these rises looked to have come to an end as production around the world continued to outpace demand.
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