The data for the retail sales in the U.S. have had some pressure on oil prices. The stock exchange in New York futures light crude for U.S. delivery in March fell 17 cents, or 0.2 percent, to 100.74 dollars a barrel. Meanwhile in London, contracts of Brent rose 24 cents to 118.17 dollars per barrel. The investors have withdrawn from the market because of the decision by Moody’s to downgrade Italy, Spain, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Malta, and awarded a negative outlook to the ratings of France, Austria and Britain. Additional pressure on prices was the news that perhaps tomorrow will be preparing a second bailout for Greece. The market participants closely monitor events in Greece because of fears that the possible bankruptcy of the country would stifle economic growth globally, which in turn will lead to a decline in oil consumption. The International Energy Agency last week also predicted that oil demand among developed countries will decrease by 400 thousand barrels per day daily. The statistics on retail sales in the U.S. and turmoil around the Greek crisis pushed down the price of gold.
The precious metal futures with delivery in April fell more than 7 dollars or 0.4 percent, to 717.70 dollars an ounce.