OPEC Forecast Oil Falls Below $86/Barrel Amidst Lower on Euro Debt Crisis

OPEC Forecast Oil Falls Below $86/Barrel Amidst Lower on Euro Debt Crisis
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Oil prices declined to below $86 per barrel Monday as OPEC cut its forecast for the global demand of oil and investor concerns over Europe’s debt crisis brought upon more turmoil in financial markets.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for October delivery declined by $1.58 to $85.66 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude oil declined by $1.81 to arrive at $87.24 on Friday.
In London, Brent crude for October Delivery decreased $1.87 to $110.90 on the ICE Futures Exchange.
Traders are worried over a possible Greek default even though the country’s cash-strapped government stated Sunday that it would impose a new property tax in a bid to meet fiscal targets that are essential to maintain a vital international bailout program.
The debt crisis has helped to strengthen the U.S. dollar against the euro. A strong dollar makes commodities such as oil more expensive for investors who hold other currencies.
The euro traded at $1.3495 earlier Monday, its lowest level since mid-February, later rebounding to $1.3607.
Stock markets, which oil traders look to as a barometer to gauge overall investor sentiment, declined in Asia and Europe Monday.
Also weighing in prices was OPEC’s latest monthly oil market report, in which the 12-nation group that supplies about a third of the world’s crude oil cut back its 2011 and 2012 forecasts for global demand.
OPEC slashes its 2011 forecast by 150,000 barrels per day for 2011 and 40,000 barrels per day for 2012, stating “turbulence in world economic recovery has resulted in considerable uncertainty for demand growth next year.”
Overall, it forecast global oil demand for 2011 at 87.99 million barrels per day, a decline from its August estimate of 88.14 million barrels per day, while demand for 2012 has been forecasted at 89.26 million.
In other Nymex trading for October contracts, heating oil decline 5.32 cents to $2.9326 a gallon and gasoline futures declined by 4.5 cents to $2.7260 a gallon. Natural gas for October delivery declined by 2.3 cents to $3.892 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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