“Brent crude crashed below $40”

Brent crude crashed below $40 per barrel today for the first time in nearly seven years, after Opec failed tospecify a production level ceiling on Friday. Brent crude, the global benchmark, shed two per cent to $39.91 per barrel this afternoon, while Western Texas Intermediate crude slumped 2.58 per cent to $36.68 per barrel. Oil prices had temporarily pulled away from nearly seven-year lows this morning, after economic data showed China continued to import commodities despite its slowing growth rate. Preliminary customs data showed China’s crude imports rose 8.7 per cent to 6.61m for the first 11 months of this year, while its November crude imports swelled 7.6 per cent year-on-year.  But prices quickly lost their gains as market sentiment soured again, as attention turned back to Opec”.

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