January 3, 2019 / 1:31 AM / 7 months ago

Oil prices drop amid currency and stock market turmoil

* Apple cuts sales forecast on weakening China

* U.S.-dollar tumbles against Japan’s yen

* Fear and the global economy: tmsnrt.rs/2AtMMVh

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Oil prices fell by more than one percent on Thursday amid volatile currency and stock markets, and as analysts warned of an economic slowdown for 2019.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $45.83 per barrel at 0120 GMT, down 71 cents, or 1.5 percent, from their last settlement.

International Brent crude futures were down 51 cents, or 0.9 percent, at $54.40 per barrel.

Markets were roiled by a more than 3 percent crash of the U.S.-dollar against Japan’s yen overnight, and after U.S. tech giant Apple cut its sales forecast.

“We did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook said.

The slowdown in China and turmoil in stock and currency markets is making investors nervous, including in oil markets.

Investment bank Jefferies said in a 2019 opening note to clients and employees that the start of the year “doesn’t feel as firm, the future doesn’t feel as certain and optimistic, and the path forward does not seem as clear.”

The U.S. bank added that “markets are extremely volatile and virtually impossible to anticipate or navigate.”

Reporting by Henning Gloystein; editing by Richard Pullin

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