13 December 2007 20:51 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--NYMEX light sweet crude futures for January delivery closed on Thursday at $92.25/bbl, down $2.14/bbl from the previous close on word that OPEC increased exports through December and that high prices could slow down the US economy.
The 2.27% price decline was attributed to news that OPEC producers, excluding Ecuador and Angola, had increased exports by 460,000 bbl/day through December. Observers said the additional shipments were expected to ease supply concerns during the peak global demand period.
NYMEX crude oil prices opened the session lower as traders took profits after the $4.37/bbl price jump that took place on Wednesday.
The downward move was further aided by concerns that lofty oil prices would severely dampen the US economy. Word of the heightened OPEC exports provided even more impetus for market participants to sell, trade sources said.
ICE Brent for January delivery also traded lower, but the pace of the sell-off was slower than that for the US benchmark. The London benchmark closed at $92.12/bbl, down $1.90/bbl, after reaching its lowest value of $91.92/bbl.
Trade sources noted that the January contract registered the biggest loss of the session, and prices had shifted from backwardation with lower values for outer month contracts, to a contango with the February contract.
NYMEX refined product contracts were also lower, with January heating oil down 2.85 cents to settle at $2.6147/gal. Reformulated before oxygenate blending (RBOB) gasoline closed at $2.3744/gal, down 3.84 cents.
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