Thursday, December 8, 2011

Rigzone: Crude Slides 2.1% On European Debt Worries

Crude oil futures fell 2.1% to near $98 a barrel Thursday, posting the biggest decline in three weeks on continued worries about Europe's sovereign debt.

Prices had posted early gains, approaching $102 a barrel, after a larger than expected drop in new claims for U.S. jobless benefits. The Labor Department said benefits filings in the week ended Dec. 3 fell by 23,000 and were at the lowest level in nine months. Economists had expected a 7,000 decline in the week.

But the weight of concerns, as European leaders begin a two day summit meeting, hit equities price and crude tumbled. Oil, like all global markets, has been gripped by concerns in recent months that the crisis in European could trigger a global economic slowdown.

Those concerns were especially evident in the heating oil futures market Thursday, traders said, as prices fell to their lowest level since Nov. 25 on fears of a potential slowdown in U.S. exports of related diesel fuel. Latest U.S. government data show that 42% of record high exports of distillate fuel (diesel/heating oil) in September were bound for Europe.....Read the entire article.

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