Friday, November 26, 2010

Crude Oil Futures Decline on Concern Ireland Crisis May Spread, Tension in Korea

Crude oil fell from a one week high on concern Ireland’s debt crisis will spread to Portugal and Spain, reducing economic growth and fuel demand, and as tensions in Korea mounted. Oil dropped as the euro declined to a two month low against the dollar, curbing investor demand for commodities. Euro area finance ministers plan to complete an agreement on an Irish bailout on Nov. 28, a European Union official said on condition of anonymity. North Korea warned its confrontation with South Korea could lead to war.

“Concerns that the European debt crisis will spread pushed the euro to a new two month low against the dollar,” said Tom Bentz, a broker with BNP Paribas Commodity Futures Inc. in New York. The oil market is down “primarily on European debt worries.” Crude oil for January delivery slipped 10 cents to settle at $83.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The January contract gained 2.2 percent this week. The front month contract added 2.8 percent for the week and has increased 7.4 percent in the past year.

Brent crude oil for January settlement declined 52 cents, or 0.6 percent, to end the session at $85.58 a barrel on the London based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Brent added 1.5 percent for the week. Shoppers crowded U.S. stores for Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year and a bellwether for the holiday season. Analysts’ estimates for holiday sales vary from little changed to increases of 4.5 percent. The National Retail Federation has forecast November-December holiday sales will rise by 2.3 percent from a year ago, the most since 2006.......Read the entire article.


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