Crude Oil Rises

Crude oil, copper and corn rose as a U.S. rescue of Citigroup Inc. shored up investor confidence and a weaker dollar enhanced the appeal of commodities.

Oil rose above $55 a barrel, following European and U.S. equities higher, after the government guaranteed $306 billion of Citigroup assets. The second-biggest U.S. bank by assets surged as much as 72 percent.

Crude oil for January delivery rose $4.57, or 9.2 percent, to $54.50 a barrel at the 2:30 p.m. close of floor trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after climbing as much as $5.37, or 11 percent, to $55.30. The contract is heading for the biggest one-day gain since Nov. 4. Futures have dropped 63 percent since reaching a record $147.27 on July 11.

Gasoline for December delivery rose 7.88 cents, or 7.4 percent, to $1.1431 a gallon in New York.

Pump prices are still falling. Regular gasoline, averaged nationwide, dropped 2.1 cents to $1.908 a gallon, AAA, the largest U.S. motorist organization, said on its Web site today. It’s the lowest price since February 2005. The fuel has tumbled 54 percent from the record $4.114 a gallon reached on July 17.

Oil ministers from the 13-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are scheduled to meet on Nov. 29 in Cairo. Slowing global demand has left a 1 million barrel-a-day oversupply that needs to be removed by year-end, Venezuela’s oil minister, Rafael Ramirez, said yesterday.

OPEC’s decision to trim output by 1.5 million barrels a day at a meeting in Vienna last month failed to stem the decline in crude prices as the global economic slump slashed demand. The group supplies more than 40 percent of the world’s oil.

Brent crude oil for January settlement increased $4.71, or 9.6 percent, to $53.90 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange. Futures touched $47.40 on Nov. 21, the lowest since Feb. 22, 2005., Bloomberg
11/24/2008 12:14:31 PM