Overnight Markets

Crude is lower, now within sight of $50/barrel, and that is dragging everything else down with it.

US crude is almost a dollar lower at $52.69/barrel this morning as US demand continues to wane despite falling prices. Brent is now at $50.84/barrel.

Supplies rose 1.6 million barrels, 0.6 million more than expected, to 313.5 million barrels last week, the Energy Department said Wednesday afternoon.

US fuel demand during the past four weeks averaged 19.1 million barrels a day the report said, down 7 percent from a year ago.

Asian stocks are lower on news that Japan's exports fell to their lowest level in six years. Japan is also the worlds largest importer of oil.

On another day of doom and gloom, its no surprise therefore that grains are also lower this morning, with beans currently 13-14c easier, wheat down 6c and corn down 5c.

The dollar is a little firmer which will also be weighing on grains. At 9am GMT the pound was $1.4856, having briefly popped above $1.52 at one point yesterday.

Japan is expected to buy 91,000mt US wheat today. Egypt are also said to be in the market for 55,000mt wheat. It will be interesting to see which way that one goes, although Russia must be the favourites with rumours still abounding of quality problems in the Ukraine. It will be a surprise if EU wheat gets the nod, but if so that may help LIFFE futures a little later today.