Oil prices hovered below $77 a barrel Tuesday as traders awaited corporate earnings reports for clues about the strength of the global economy and the outlook for energy demand.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for August delivery was down 18 cents to $76.36 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). The contract rose 53 cents to settle at $76.54 on Monday.
Crude oil prices slid to $67.26 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Tuesday, as U.S. stock markets closed flat for the second consecutive day.
Prices for light, sweet crude fell 98 cents from Monday’s closing price. Heating oil prices fell marginally, down 0.0176 cents to $1.7705 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline dropped 0.017 cents to $1.913 per gallon. Natural gas prices lost 0.109 cents to $3.52 per million British thermal units.
At the pump, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $2.505 Tuesday, up a half cent from Monday’s $2.50 a gallon, AAA said.
Oil prices rose even after report that US supplies of the fuel declined by one million barrels last week, increasing optimism that energy demand will recover soon. The government reported that the nation is consuming less than it has in years and that inventories are the highest in nearly two decades. Benchmark crude for June delivery gained $1.05 to settle at $50.97 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
World prices for oil futures continued to fall. On the stock market price of oil fell another 6.3% and established by the end of the day below 70 U.S. $ / bbl. In New York, at the official price of NYMEX futures Light, Sweet Crude Oil (November) fell 4 cents to $ 69 and settled at around 69.85 U.S. $ / bbl. In London InterContinental Exchange Futures Europe (ISE Futures Europe) official price of IPE Brent Crude futures lost 4 to $ 48 cents and settled at around 66.32 U.S. $ / bbl.
On Thursday, oil prices declined in the tenth time since the beginning of this month. The cause was a significant increase in U.S. stockpiles of crude oil and gasoline, while energy demand in the country over the previous year dropped significantly due to the economic crisis.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the OPEC has decided to postpone the extraordinary meeting of oil ministers of countries – participating in the international oil cartel on 24 October. Initially the event was scheduled for 18 November in Vienna. The reason to postpone the meeting at an earlier date has been accelerated the fall in world oil prices. Including the OPEC oil basket for the first time in 13 and a half months fell below 70 U.S. $ / bbl.