Oil prices extend falls; Goldman Sachs slashes forecasts
(Reuters) - Global oil prices fell by more than $1 a barrel on Monday as Goldman Sachs lowered its short-term forecasts, while refineries in Ohio and Pennsylvania were hit by fires over the weekend, curtailing demand for crude in the United States.
Both Brent and U.S. crude are at their lowest since April 2009 and have fallen for seven straight weeks.
Analysts at Goldman Sachs cut their average forecast for Brent in 2015 to $50.40 a barrel from $83.75. They lowered their forecast for U.S. crude to $47.15 a barrel from $73.75, saying it would need to stay near $40 for most of the first half of 2015 before it would hold up shale oil investments.
ECB Weighs Bond Purchases Up to 500 Billion Euros to Juice Economy
European Central Bank staff presented policy makers with models for buying as much as 500 billion euros ($591 billion) of investment-grade assets, according to a person who attended a meeting of the Governing Council.
Various quantitative-easing options focused on government bonds were shown to governors on Jan. 7 in Frankfurt, including buying only AAA-rated debt or bonds rated at least BBB minus, the euro-area central bank official said. Governors took no decision on the design or implementation of any package after the presentation, according to the person and another official who attended the meeting. The people asked not to be identified because the talks were private.
Japan Plans Record Budget to Help Economy Hit by Recession
Japan plans a record budget for next fiscal year to support an economy that fell into recession after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government increased the sales tax.
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