Crude oil prices sink in Asian trade


Oil prices sank in Asian trade on Tuesday as jitters over an expected interest rate hike by the Chinese central bank scared traders, analysts said. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in January, slid 24 cents to US$89.14 a barrel in the afternoon. The official China Securities Journal Tuesday quoted unnamed analysts as saying the probability of an interest rate hike in the world’s biggest energy consumer in the near term was “very great.” The paper also said the days before and immediately after this weekend were a “sensitive window” for rate hikes, with China releasing its consumer price index (CPI) for November on Monday.