Oil Falls

Crude oil fell in New York as investors judged yesterday's 10 percent gain excessive, and on forecasts that a government report will show U.S. crude inventories swelling as demand ebbs.

U.S. crude-oil inventories probably increased for a sixth week because of declining demand, a Bloomberg News survey before today's Energy Department report showed. China, the world's second-largest energy user, may halt diesel imports for a second month in November because of rising stockpiles, traders said.

Crude oil for December delivery declined as much as $3.47, or 4.9 percent, to $67.06 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $68.96 a barrel at 11:54 a.m. London time. Prices, which have tumbled 54 percent since reaching a record $147.27 on July 11, are down 28 percent from a year ago.

Futures rose $6.62, or 10 percent, to $70.53 a barrel yesterday, the biggest one-day gain since Sept. 22, as U.S. stock markets recorded the biggest presidential-election day rally since Ronald Reagan won a second term 24 years ago.

Speculation that Barack Obama, elected as the 44th U.S. president, will implement policies to speed an economic recovery pushed the dollar to $1.2865 per euro at 6 a.m. in New York, from $1.2981 yesterday.

Gains in the U.S. currency often undermine investors' need to hedge against inflation by buying dollar-priced commodities such as gold and crude oil.

Brent crude oil for December settlement fell as much as $3.49, or 5.3 percent, to $62.95 a barrel on London's ICE Futures Europe exchange. It was at $63.36 a barrel at 11:54 a.m. London time. The contract increased $5.96, or 9.9 percent, to settle at $66.44 a barrel yesterday, the highest since Oct. 21.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc suspended export obligations on shipments of all its Nigerian crude in November and December as the West African country cuts production to comply with OPEC's output curbs, a company spokesman said.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided at a meeting in Vienna last month to cut the production target for 11 of the group's members by 1.5 million barrels a day, from 28.8 million barrels a day.

Saudi Arabia has cut crude supplies to some customers ``significantly'' after last month's meeting, Reuters reported yesterday. The United Arab Emirates, Iran and Algeria have already announced reduced exports in compliance with the decision.

Crude oil stockpiles in the week ended Oct. 31 probably rose 1 million barrels from 311.9 million the week before, according to the median of 13 analyst estimates. The Energy Department is due to report inventory figures at 10:35 a.m. Washington time today.

TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg.com
11/5/2008 5:27:27 AM