Mark Keenan

Oil hits fresh 5-1/2-year lows; Brent below $53

Singapore - Oil extended losses on Tuesday to touch fresh 5-1/2-year lows, following a 5 percent plunge in the previous session as a slew of bearish factors added to supply woes.

Worries about surplus oil supplies were fuelled by data showing output in Russia hit a post-Soviet-era high in 2014 and exports from Iraq, OPEC`s second-largest producer, were the highest since 1980. Jitters over political uncertainty in Greece drove investors out of risk assets globally to safe-haven bonds.

"It`s building on the recent bearish supply/demand outlook of oil, led originally by the OPEC meeting," said Mark Keenan, who heads Asia commodities research at Societe Generale.

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