NEW YORK, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Crude prices tumbled on Tuesday as the Norwegian government forced an end to the oil workers strike, swiping supplies fears from the markets.
Crude prices fell sharply after Norway's government intervened late on Monday and ordered a settlement in a dispute between the striking oil workers and employers, just minutes before a potential complete shutdown of the country's oil industry.
According to Norwegian law, the government has the right to intervene and force striking workers back on the job to protect the economy from damages.
Norway is the eighth largest oil producer in the world, offering more than 2 million barrels per day of crude oil to the global markets. Before the intervention, the oil workers strike had entered its third week, cutting oil output by 13 percent and affecting oil shipment.
To add to the pressure, data from China showed the world's second biggest oil consumer imported 12 percent less oil in June compared to May. The global oil demand tended to be weak, as the economy slowed down.
In U.S., the National Federation of Independent Business reported that small business optimism dropped sharply in June for the second straight month, as small businesses were gloomy about the economic prospect.
Euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels agreed to speed up the provision of up to 100 billion euros (123 billion U.S. dollars) in aid for Spanish banks, with an initial 30 billion euros to be lent by the end of July. But the agreement failed to boost the crude markets.
Light, sweet crude for August delivery fell 2.08 dollars, or 2. 42 percent to settle at 83.91 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude for August delivery also declined over 2 percent and last traded around 98 dollars a barrel.