The troubled start to the new year continued as global markets tumbled amid oil prices slumping to new 11-year lows. London’s FTSE 100 Index fell 63.9, points to 6073.4, with indices across Europe also sharply lower as Brent crude dropped below 35 US dollars a barrel.
Plunging prices at the pumps have failed to arrest the slide in petrol purchasing. Petrol sales in October 2014 fell when compared with October 2013 despite pump prices falling more than 8p a litre over the 12-month period, Government figures highlighted today by the AA showed. The statistics also showed that petrol sales for the first 10 months of this year have fallen 20% compared with the same period five years ago.
Oil prices have dipped below 80 US dollars a barrel for the first time in four years, boosting hopes for cheaper petrol on UK forecourts. The price of Brent crude for December delivery fell as low as 79 US dollars a barrel after industry cartel Opec yesterday predicted that demand for its oil will be slightly lower next year at 29.2 million barrels a day. The world’s uncertain growth outlook, with the eurozone stagnant and Chinese expansion showing signs of easing, has fuelled fears that there will be a glut of oil swilling around the global economy.