Crude Oil Falls

Crude oil fell below $60 a barrel amid speculation the International Energy Agency will lower its 2009 oil-demand forecast as slowing economic growth cuts fuel consumption.

The IEA, an adviser to 28 oil-consuming nations, will reduce the estimated growth in global demand for a third month, according to four former IEA analysts. Crude had risen yesterday after China announced a $586 billion economic stimulus plan.

Crude oil for December delivery fell as much as $3.09, or 5 percent, to $59.32 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $60.23 at 1:16 p.m. London time. Oil slumped 10 percent last week as equities dropped, U.S. fuel stockpiles rose more than expected and the nation's unemployment rate climbed to a 14-year high.

Prices, which have tumbled 59 percent since reaching a record $147.27 on July 11, are down 36 percent from a year ago. Yesterday, oil rose 2.2 percent to $62.41 a barrel.

U.S. crude-oil supplies probably rose for a seventh week as imports rebounded, a Bloomberg News survey of analysts showed. Stockpiles probably increased 500,000 barrels in the week ended Nov. 7 from 311.9 million the week before, according to the median of nine analyst estimates before an Energy Department report this week.

Gasoline inventories probably climbed 500,000 barrels from 196.1 million barrels the week before, according to the survey. Supplies of distillate fuel, a category that includes heating oil and diesel, rose 1.1 million barrels from 127.8 million barrels the week before, according to the survey.

The Energy Department is scheduled to release its weekly report on Nov. 13 at 11 a.m. in Washington. The report is being delayed by a day because of the Veterans Day holiday.

Commodities also fell as demand for metals used in manufacturing may drop. Gold for immediate delivery was down $7.58 at $738.62 an ounce as of 1:09 p.m. London time, and copper for three-month delivery was down $142, or 3.7 percent, at $3,733 a metric ton.

Brent crude oil for December settlement declined as much as $2.97, or 5 percent, to $56.11 a barrel, on London's ICE Futures Europe exchange, and traded at $57.04 at 1:08 p.m. London time. Prices have tumbled 38 percent in the past year.,
11/11/2008 5:21:24 AM