Oil prices end tumultuous year below $40

Published by rudy Date posted on January 2, 2009

SINGAPORE: Oil prices ended the year below 40 dollars Wednesday in Asian trade after a tumultuous 2008 which saw prices hit record peaks before plunging to multi-year lows.

New York’s main futures contract, light sweet crude for February delivery, fell 62 cents to 38.41 dollars a barrel in afternoon trade after falling 99 cents to 39.03 dollars on Tuesday at the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent North Sea crude for February delivery fell 65 cents to 39.50 dollars a barrel after shedding 40 cents to 40.15 on Tuesday in London.

Prices soared in the first half of the year, reaching record highs above 147 dollars a barrel in July, before a sharp global economic downturn slashed world demand for energy and pulled prices sharply lower. New York crude plunged earlier this month to below 33 dollars, its lowest point for almost five years.

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