Oil Posts Small Loss; US Pump Prices Fall


Oil fell slightly Monday as the market waited for the latest forecasts for global demand.

Benchmark crude for September delivery fell 38 cents to close at $106.56 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The U.S. Energy Department, the International Energy Agency and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries all this week release their latest assessments of the energy markets, which include a forecast for worldwide demand for oil. Analysts are anticipating some downward revisions, given a slowdown in China’s economy.

“The slowed Chinese growth will be demanding of additional downward adjustments in global demand estimates by the various agencies,” wrote Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy consultancy Ritterbusch and Associates, in a note to clients.

The market did have a swing of about $2 during Monday’s trading. A week ago, oil jumped nearly $5 on Wednesday and Thursday as the global economic picture seemed to brighten, even as central bankers in the U.S. and Europe indicated they’d maintain programs that have helped to keep interest rates low. Then on Friday, disappointing figures on hiring in the U.S. pushed oil down by 95 cents, though it still ended the week with a gain of more than $2 a barrel.

U.S. drivers saw a slight improvement at the gas pump over the weekend. The average price for a gallon of gasoline fell to $3.61 from $3.63 on Friday.

Brent crude, traded on the ICE Futures exchange in London, fell 25 cents to $108.70 per barrel.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

  • Heating oil fell 2 cents to $3.05 a gallon.
  • Natural gas fell 3 cents to $3.32 per 1,000 cubic feet.