Three days after the 9.0 Richter Scale quake inflicted damage on the northern region of the country hosting the globe's third-largest economy, 29 percent of its refining capacity is shuttered, according to Bloomberg calculations based on information from the Petroleum Association of Japan.
"You are taking demand from the third-largest economy out of the market and oil is responding negatively," Tom Bentz, a broker with BNP Paribas Commodity Futures in New York, told the news service. "The short-term trend still looks to be lower. The next support area is somewhere around $96."
Just prior to 2 p.m. on Monday, Brent crude oil futures were down 0.24 percent, a 0.27 cent slip to $113.57 per barrel.
"Japan is probably not consuming up to 4 million barrels a day and that's going to pare some of the imports," said Richard Ilczyszyn, a market strategist at Chicago broker Lind-Waldock, told the news service.
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