Crude oil slips as Greek election hits euro hard.
Crude oil slips as Greek election hits euro hard.Reuters

Crude oil prices traded lower on 26 January as an election win for Greece's anti-austerity party heightened uncertainty in the eurozone, hitting the euro.

Brent March contract was trading 1.23% lower to $48.19 a barrel at 0629 GMT, but off an early low of $47.85.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) March contract was trading 1.45% lower to $44.93 a barrel, falling close to a six-year low.

US crude earlier slid to an intraday low of $44.35, just above $44.20 hit on 13 January, its lowest since April 2009.

The euro dropped to a near 11-year low against the US dollar on 26 January, hitting dollar-denominated oil, a day after snap elections in Greece propelled leftist leader Alexis Tsipras's Syriza party to victory, Reuters reported.

AFP reported that Syriza was on course to be the largest party in the new parliament but that the party looked set to fall short of the 151 seats required for an overall majority, suggesting it will have to work with a smaller party to form a government.

Tsipras wants to renegotiate Greece's bailout, setting up a possible confrontation with the nation's international creditors.

Last week, the results of a survey of investment professionals showed that WTI crude was about $14.93 a barrel away from indicating that a global recession was unavoidable.

The survey by Convergex Group polled 306 investment professionals, and 31% of all respondents said that US crude oil prices in the $26 to $30 price range will signal that a global recession was inevitable.

Nicholas Colas, Convergex's chief market strategist, said in a statement: "...While investors say that the drop in oil prices has been a net positive thus far, their forecast is less sunny. We have here a clear warning of the impact if prices continue to fall – and our respondents think they will."