Crude oil falls as Isaac spares oil platforms
US energy companies have shut most facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, as a precautionary measure, cutting the regionís oil output by more than 90%.An unexpected rise in US crude inventories and data showing weakening US consumer confidence added to bearishness, although lingering tensions in the West Asia supported prices.
Brent crude oil futures for October fell more than $1 per barrel to a low of $111.50 before recovering to around $112. US crude was down 70 cents at $95.60.
It is expected that oil production in the Gulf of Mexico will quickly return to normal, said Carsten Fritsch, an oil analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. What is more, inventory data from the United States were disappointing.
Worries about supply disruptions resulting from the hurricane on Monday pushed Brent to a high of $115.50 per barrel, while NYMEX futures hit a peak of $97.72.
Brent has risen around 6.5% so far this month while US oil has gained 8.5%, its biggest monthly rise since February. Isaac has brought high winds and soaking rains to southern US states, posing the first test for multibillion-dollar flood defences put in place in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina devastated the US Gulf Coast seven years ago.
Concerns over the global economy and uncertainty about the US Fedís monetary policy were also muddying the outlook for oil demand, adding to pressure on prices.
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