Thursday, October 06, 2005

Oil Prices Drop for 5th Consecutive Day

NEW YORK - Crude oil prices dropped for the fifth day in a row Thursday to two-month lows, as traders exited what they say is a market trending lower on weakening U.S. consumer demand.

Gasoline, heating oil and natural gas prices fell as well. But analysts suggested that the coming Western hemisphere winter could push product prices upward again, with demand for heating oil outstripping supply because of refinery shortfalls and tight imports.

Light, sweet crude for November delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $1.49 to $61.30 a barrel in midday trading, below the Aug. 4 settlement price of $61.38. Crude is more than 13 percent off its record high of $70.85, reached briefly on Aug. 30 after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf coast.

"We've broken the back a little in the oil market," said Ed Silliere, vice president of risk management at Energy Merchant LLC in New York. Many traders took profits Thursday on expectations that crude prices will fall into the 50s next week, he said.

November Brent futures at London's International Petroleum Exchange fell $1.80 to $58.32 a barrel.

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Now how about dropping the PRICES AT THE GAS PUMP!!!

$3.00 a gallon!!