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Rabu, 03 Agustus 2011

Crude Oil Drops to Five-Week Low on Weaker U.S. Growth Outlook - Bloomberg

Crude oil fell to a five-week low in New York and reached a record discount against Brent crude as a drop in U.S. personal spending signaled growth is slowing in the world’s biggest oil-consuming country.

Futures dropped 1.2 percent after the Commerce Department in Washington said purchases slipped 0.2 percent in June, the first decline in almost two years. The decrease in prices accelerated after President Barack Obama signed a bill to raise the U.S. debt limit by at least $2.1 trillion, averting by hours a first-ever U.S. financial default.

“There’s a great deal of nervousness about the direction of the economy,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts. “All of the talk of a possible default has already done a lot of damage to consumer confidence. The economy wasn’t looking good before today, and now it’s looking worse.”

Crude oil for September delivery fell $1.10 to $93.79 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since June 28. Prices have gained 15 percent in the past year.

Prices fell as low as $93.08 in electronic trading before paring losses after the American Petroleum Institute reported that U.S. crude-oil stockpiles dropped 3.31 million barrels to 354.9 million. Oil declined $1.45, or 1.5 percent, to $93.44 a barrel in electronic trading at 4:32 p.m.

Brent oil for September settlement declined 35 cents, or 0.3 percent, to end the session at $116.46 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark contract reached a record premium of $22.67 a barrel to New York futures based on closing prices.
Slowing Economy

Consumer purchases were forecast to increase 0.1 percent, according to the median estimate of 77 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Incomes grew at the slowest pace since November and the savings rate climbed. More Read

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