Oil prices settle below $39

Oil prices settle below $39
# 24 December 2008 07:47 (UTC +04:00)
Baku. Vahab Rzayev - APA-Economics. Crude oil traded little changed near $39 a barrel in New York after falling yesterday as a collapse in U.S. house prices raised concern that the global recession will deepen, limiting demand for fuels.
Oil for February delivery was at $39.12 a barrel, up 14 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12:36 p.m. Singapore time. Earlier, prices rose as much as 1.8 percent to $39.69 a barrel. Crude has fallen 28 percent this month. Yesterday, futures dropped 93 cents, or 2.3 percent, to close at $38.98 a barrel.
Oil for delivery in February 2010 was more than $14 higher than the current month yesterday, a market condition known as contango. The pattern encourages companies to store oil.
OPEC President Chakib Khelil said four days ago that OPEC may meet in Kuwait City on Jan. 19 to discuss further production cuts, adding that OPEC will continue to reduce supply as demand falls until an “equilibrium” is reached.
Brent crude oil for February settlement was at $40.28 a barrel, down 8 cents, on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange at 12:38 p.m. Singapore time. Yesterday, the contract declined $1.09, or 2.6 percent, to $40.36 a barrel.
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