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

20 February 2013 21:24  [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 about-to-become-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

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.

Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.

Printer Friendly

Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index