Oil prices declined on Monday, with U.S. crude falling close to a nearly six-year low, as Saudi Arabia's new King Salman moved to assuage fears of an unstable transition and any policy change in the world's largest oil exporter. Salman was quick to retain veteran Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi on Friday, in a message aimed at calming a jittery energy market following the death of King Abdullah last week. "Oil markets will take comfort from the speed and stability of the succession process, and the announced pledge for continuity of policy," said Majid Jafar, chief executive of Crescent Petroleum, a UAE-headquartered oil and gas producer focussed on the Middle East. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for March delivery was at $44.97 a barrel, down 62 cents.
By Renee Maltezou and Costas Pitas ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek leftwing leader Alexis Tsipras struck a deal with a right-wing party to form a government to confront international lenders and reverse years of painful austerity following a crushing election victory by his Syriza party. The success of the anti-bailout party reignites fears of a new financial troubles in the country that set off the regional crisis in 2009. Fresh from trouncing conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on a campaign of "Hope is coming!", the 40-year-old Tsipras quickly sealed a deal on a coalition with the head of the small Independent Greeks party which, like Syriza, opposes Greece's bailout deal. The Independent Greeks give a vote of confidence in Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.