Monday, April 14, 2008

Crude Oil Falls as Dollar Gains, Slowing Growth May Curb Demand

Crude oil dropped below $110 a barrel in New York on the dollar's gains and speculation that slowing economic growth in the U.S. will trim demand.

Oil markets are well supplied as non-OPEC output rises while consumption may fall should the global economy slow, OPEC analyst Mohammed Alipour-Jeddi said April 12 to the International Monetary Fund, as reported by Dow Jones. The dollar rose the most in two weeks against the euro after the Group of Seven signaled increasing concern over the currency's declines.

Crude oil for May delivery fell as much as 53 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $109.61 a barrel and was at $109.62 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:09 a.m. in Singapore.

Commodity prices have surged as the dollar dropped and investors purchased energy and minerals as a hedge against inflation.

The dollar rose to $1.5710 per euro at 10:34 a.m. in Singapore, from $1.5810 on April 11. It earlier reached $1.56 a euro, the strongest level since April 3.

The International Energy Agency cut its 2008 demand forecast a third time on April 11 and U.S. shares posted their biggest drop in five weeks.

Softening demand, increasing non-OPEC production and reduced refinery maintenance this quarter may temper rising prices, OPEC analyst Alipour-Jeddi said in his April 12 presentation to the International Monetary Fund, Dow Jones reported.

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