Crude Oil Falls to 1-Year Low

Crude oil tumbled to the lowest in a year and copper fell as demand dropped and global stock markets plunged on concern a global credit crisis will push countries including the U.S. into a recession.

Oil was at the lowest since October 2007 and copper traded at its weakest since March 2006 after the Dow Jones Industrial Average yesterday dropped below 9,000 for the first time since 2003. OPEC, supplier of about 40 percent of the world's oil, signaled yesterday it may cut output at an emergency meeting on Nov. 18.

Crude oil for November delivery fell as much as $4.49, or 5.2 percent, to $82.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures were at $82.30 at 10:29 a.m. Singapore time. Futures have fallen 44 percent from a record $147.27 a barrel reached on July 11.

Yesterday, oil fell $2.36, or 2.7 percent, to settle at $86.59 a barrel, the lowest settlement since Oct. 23, 2007.

U.S. fuel demand averaged about 18.7 million barrels a day during the past four weeks, the lowest since June 1999, according to an Energy Department report on Oct. 8. The figure is down 8.6 percent from the year-earlier period.

OPEC is ``very likely'' to cut oil production at the Nov. 18 meeting in Vienna because prices have fallen ``dramatically,'' the group's president, Chakib Khelil, said yesterday.

The group, which is responsible for more than 40 percent of global oil output, had been scheduled to meet next on Dec. 17 in Oran, Algeria.

OPEC resolved at its most recent meeting in Vienna last month to stick more closely to official quotas, implying a cut of about 500,000 barrels a day.

Brent crude oil for November settlement declined as much as $3.57, or 4.3 percent, to $79.09 a barrel on London's ICE Futures Europe exchange, and traded at $79.12 at 10:27 a.m. Singapore time. Yesterday, the contract settled at $82.66, the lowest closing price since Oct. 12, 2007.

Gold jumped to the highest in nearly 11 weeks as investors sought bullion as a haven after Asian stocks tumbled on the heel of plunging U.S. equities amid a deepening credit crisis and worsening global economic outlook.

Bullion for immediate delivery jumped as much as $14.65, or 1.6 percent, to $927.90 an ounce, the highest since July 29. It traded at $915.50 at 9:37 a.m. in Singapore. Silver for immediate delivery rose 0.8 percent at $12.20 an ounce.,
10/9/2008 7:47:57 PM