For people worldwide worried about the erosion of their investments as stock markets plummet and more and more financial institutions are threatened by meltdown, oils recent and relative affordability brings a small measure of comfort. Prices have fallen about 40 percent since peaking near $150 in July.
While still down from Tuesday’s closing, prices rose from earlier lows of the day after the Federal Reserve, acting in coordination with other global central banking authorities, cut a key
Light, sweet crude for November delivery was down $1.22 to $88.84 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by midday in
A US$700 billion
The crisis has spread to
The Reserve Bank of
Asian shares were hammered hard Wednesday, with the Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average spiraling down nearly 10 percent to a five-year low.
"We’ve got major issues in every corner of the planet," said Peter McGuire, managing director at investment firm Commodity Warrants Australia in
"The world economy is like a house that’s been ravaged by termites."
Investors are watching for signs of slowing
The Platts survey also showed that analysts projected gasoline inventories rose 2 million barrels and distillates went up 1 million barrels last week.
Reflecting lessened demand in the U.S., Vienna’s JBC Energy cited MasterCard Advisors latest report, noting drivers had cut back by more than 6 percentage points year on year - and by 5 percentage points compared to the previous week.
Gasoline prices slipped by more than 4 cents in other Nymex trading to $2.0224, while heating oil futures plunged by more than 5 cents to $2.4526 a gallon. Natural gas for November delivery fell by nearly 10 cents to $6.670 per 1,000 cubic feet.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries may cut production if prices fall further, but the scope of such cuts would be limited by concern higher energy costs would exacerbate the economic slowdown, McGuire said.
"OPEC can only do so much," McGuire said. "We may see interest rates cuts and increased government spending as a way out."