June 23 - Summary of business headlines: Crude oil prices plunge as IEA opens reserves; U.S. budget talks collapse; Greece reaches austerity agreement; U.S. markets close mixed. Jill Bennett reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Crude oil prices plunged on news the International Energy Agency will tap strategic reserves to prop up the worldwide economy. The surprise announcement to release 60 million barrels a day for 30 days is intended to ease the shortfall from Libya and push down fuel prices. But it's only one of the factors sending oil prices reeling, according to Anthony Grisanti, President of GRZ Energy: SOUNDBITE: ANTHONY GRISANTI, PRESIDENT, GRZ (ENGLISH) SAYING: "If you look at China and the rest of Europe, ratcheting down their growth for the rest of this year I think you have to realize that we are in deep trouble economic wise and that's the reason that oil has sold off the way it is" Grisanti expects the lower oil prices to send gas prices down by 10-20 cents per gallon over the summer. On Capitol Hill: U.S. budget talks collapse as Republicans and Democrats remain deadlocked over tax increases sought by Democrats. Republican negotiators walked out - clouding hopes a budget deal would be reached by next week before the government runs out of money to pay the country's bills. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde met with the executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as it prepared to decide who will replace disgraced Dominique Strauss-Kahn as managing director. Lagarde is viewed as the front runner to head the IMF, a position historically held by a European, and the United States is widely expected to back her. Meantime, Greece reaches an agreement on a new five-year austerity plan with the European Union and International Monetary Fund after committing to new tax rises and spending cuts, sources with knowledge of the talks told Reuters. Reports of a Greek deal helped pull Wall Street back from its lows on the days: The Dow fell half a percent while the Nasdaq managed to eke out a gain of more than half a percent. But it was a rough day for the overseas markets. Jill Bennett, Reuters