US crude futures plunge $2.20/bbl on pre-expiration selling

20 February 2013 20:35  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--NYMEX light sweet crude (WTI) for March delivery settled at $94.46/bbl, down $2.20 versus the previous close, on the back of aggressive length liquidation as the front month contract expired at the end of the session.

Unconfirmed reports that a troubled commodity hedge fund had been forced to liquidate assets also triggered panic selling across the energy complex.

Crude prices had started to slide on expectations that Saudi Arabia will raise output in the second quarter in order to satisfy global demand as economies improve.

The downside momentum penetrated technical barriers, triggering sell stops and March WTI established an intra-day low of $93.92/bbl, down $2.74, before rebounding.

Led by commodities, the stock market gave back early gains and moved into negative territory; while the dollar firmed against a basket of currencies.

The upcoming spot month, April WTI, established an intra-day low of $94.21/bbl, down $2.89, before recouping a portion of the losses to settle at $95.22/bbl, down $1.88.

ICE Brent for April delivery performed slightly better than its American counterpart, bottoming out at $115.05 before settling at $115.60/bbl, down $1.92.


By: Ignacio Sotolongo
+1 713 525 2653



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