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Oil prices ease ahead of Greece vote

Oil prices

Singapore: Oil prices eased in Asia today ahead of a weekend bailout reform referendum in Greece that could determine its future in the eurozone.

West Texas Intermediate for August delivery was down 21 cents at USD 56.72 while Brent North Sea crude was three cents lower at USD 62.04.

Greek voters will be asked to vote either “Yes” to a bailout package offered by creditors in exchange for tougher austerity measures, or “No” in support of the leftist government’s bid to gain better terms.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called the poll on Saturday after breaking off debt reform talks with its creditors — leading it to default on a loan repayment on Tuesday.

European leaders have warned that vote is effectively now an in-out vote on Greece’s future in the eurozone.

“Negotiations (between Greece and lenders) appear to have grounded to a standstill with everyone awaiting the results of Sunday’s vote,” said analyst Nicholas Teo of CMC Markets in Singapore.

“With either outcome, global markets continue to remain on tenterhooks as any near-term resolution of the situation there remains a distant prospect.”

The International Monetary Fund said today that Greece needs 50 billion euros (USD 55 billion) over the next three years, while it has also slashed 2015 economic growth forecast to zero.

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