Oil Extends Drop

Crude oil fell for a second day in New York on concerns that OPEC's production cut may fail to arrest a slump in prices as the global financial crisis threatens to reduce energy demand.

The 13 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed Oct. 24 to lower supply by 1.5 million barrels a day starting in November. The group is likely to reduce production further if the latest cut doesn't stabilize prices, Agence France-Presse said, citing an interview Iran's OPEC representative Mohammad Ali Khatibi gave on state television.

Crude oil for December delivery fell 37 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $63.78 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12:09 a.m. in Singapore. The contract earlier traded as high as $64.96.

On Oct. 24, the front-month contract fell $3.69, or 5.4 percent, to $64.15, the lowest close since May 31, 2007. Futures are down 31 percent from a year ago. The front-month contract dropped 11 percent last week, the fourth straight weekly decline.

Brent crude oil for December settlement declined 38 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $61.67 a barrel on London's ICE Futures Europe exchange at 12:07 a.m. in Singapore. It earlier declined as much as 42 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $61.43, the lowest settlement price since March 21, 2007.

Prices have dropped 56 percent from the record $147.27 a barrel reached on July 11 as stock markets declined.

Oil options contracts to sell crude at $50 by December almost tripled on Oct. 24 after the OPEC decision to slash production failed to allay concerns that the global economic slump is hurting demand.

The MSCI World Index lost more than a quarter of its value this month as subprime-related credit losses topped $680 billion and global economic growth slowed. The S&P 500's 40 percent loss in 2008 would be the most since 1931 as the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression deepens.

TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg.com
10/27/2008 2:22:11 AM