Crude oil prices continue to decline

Crude oil prices continue to decline


Vienna: Crude oil prices slid further on 7 August on concerns about the US economy and as investors sold to lock in profits from last week’s record-setting rally.

Gasoline steadied after dropping more than 10 cents.

The price declines began on Friday after the government issued weaker-than-expected employment numbers. That data added to the sentiment from a series of other government reports that analysts say suggest the economy might be slowing.

Some analysts expect a repeat of last year, when oil prices dropped nearly $20 between early August and early October. Others disagree, noting that global demand remains strong.

Light, sweet crude oil for September delivery fell 17 cents to $72.06 a barrel in European electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by noon — nearly $7 a barrel lower than the intra-day record of $78.77 hit last week.

The contract fell $3.42 to settle at $72.06 a barrel on 6 August in the US.

Valero Energy Corp.’s report of 6 August of a weekend fire at a Port Arthur, Texas, refinery did little to stop the slide.

Refinery news and outages were a main driver of prices in the spring and early summer, but in recent weeks, refineries have boosted capacity and output, alleviating those concerns. Gasoline futures and retail prices have been falling for weeks.