European equity markets extended losses in today’s trading session as investors remained cautious and were prompted to another round of sell-off ahead of the crucial Euro-group meeting. The CAC, DAX, IBEX and London equity benchmark index retreated between 0.2% and 1.4%, while the Athens stock exchange extended declines. The euro remained under pressure hovering around 1.13 against the USD dollar, awaiting any possible decisions from European leaders.
Following confirmation from the latest DOE oil report, crude oil inventories continue to build sharply after increasing 4.86 million barrels for the week ending 6th Feb. Stocks in key location of Cushing, Oklahoma, rose 1.21 million barrels, while refinery utilisation increased 0.1%. Crude oil prices extended declines following the announcement with WTI front month futures plunging over 2.3% below $49 per barrel. The downside momentum continues in the oil market as high crude oil inventories verify the slowdown in the oil demand.
Investors will be keeping an eye on the Euro-group meeting this evening. We expect high volatility and nervous trading conditions across equity and commodity markets in the next trading sessions. There are ongoing rumours across the markets of a possible Greek exit from the Eurozone if European leaders fail to reach an agreement in the coming weeks.