Oil drops below US$100 for the first time since July
NEW YORK (AP) — Oil dropped below US$100 a barrel Monday for the first time since early July as US supplies keep rising and the risks of disruption to Middle East shipments subside.
By late morning in New York, benchmark crude was down US$1.11 a barrel to US$99.70 on the New York Mercantile Exchange (one US dollar = J$105.01).
The nation’s crude oil supplies rose by four million barrels in the week ended October 11, the government said Monday, in a report that was delayed five days due to the government shutdown. Analyst expected a smaller increase of 2.25 million barrels. At 374.5 million barrels, the nation’s crude oil supply is 1.4 per cent above year-ago levels and the highest since July.
The supply report for last week will be released Wednesday.
Other factors weighing on oil prices in the past weeks include the agreement to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons and apparent progress between Iran and world powers.
“Can anyone remember a time where the possibility of a potential future attack on Iran did not figure into the equation of the price of oil?” wrote Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at The PRICE Futures Group, in a note to clients.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, was down 30 cents to US$109.64 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline fell one cent to US$2.67 a gallon (1USgal=3.79L).
— Natural gas slipped three cents to US$3.73 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Heating oil shed one cent to US$3.02 a gallon.