Oil Falls


Crude oil fell, paring its largest gain in seven weeks, as stock markets in Europe and Asia dropped on concern the recession is deepening.

Oil declined as Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index fell to a five-year low. Miner Anglo American Plc suspended its dividend and announced 19,000 job cuts, saying it expected continuing weakness in commodity prices. Crude jumped yesterday after a report showed U.S. stockpiles unexpectedly fell last week.

Crude oil for March delivery fell as much as $2.02, or 5.1 percent, to $37.46 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 1:09 p.m. London time. Yesterday, the contract gained $4.86 to settle at $39.48 a barrel.

The March contract expires today. The more active April contract was at $38.31 a barrel, down $1.87.

Brent crude oil for April settlement fell as much as $1.82, or 4.3 percent, to $40.17 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange. It was at $40.21 a barrel at 1:10 p.m. in London.

A U.S. Energy Department report showed inventories dropped 138,000 barrels to 350.6 million barrels last week, the first decline this year. Analysts had forecast an increase in U.S. crude inventories of 3.2 million barrels, according to a Bloomberg News survey.


TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
2/20/2009 5:32:24 AM