Market watch: Energy futures decline on NYMEX, IPE

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Nov. 2 -- Energy futures prices declined in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and on the International Petroleum Exchange in London Thursday.

The December contract for light, sweet crude, the US benchmark, fell 79¢ to rest at $20.39/bbl. In after-hours electronic access trading, however, the contract was fetching $20.55/bbl.

Refined petroleum products also closed lower on the NYMEX, with December home heating oil losing 2.17¢ to rest at 58.87¢/gal, while unleaded gasoline for the same month lost 1.98¢ to end at 54.13¢/gal.

NYMEX December natural gas fell 0.1¢ to close at $3.29/Mcf.

Meanwhile, North Sea Brent crude oil futures also slumped in late afternoon trading on the IPE, on growing bearish sentiment due to expectations of a steep recession in the US.

Brokers said suggestions by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries members that the organization could trim up to 1 million b/d of crude from its output ceiling failed to bolster falling prices.

The brokers pointed out that the reduction in global demand for crude caused by the sharp recession was proving to be overwhelming.

On Thursday, IPE December Brent settled at $19.62/bbl, down by 75¢ from the previous close, and dropping below the key $20 mark, as had been predicted for over a week.

The day's high was $20.50/bbl and the low $19.55.

Aggressive follow-through and technical selling was expected to test support at $19 before long, the brokers added.

Also on the IPE, natural gas fell 3¢ to close at the equivalent of $3.29/Mcf.

OPEC's basket of seven crudes stood at $18.25/bbl Thursday, compared with $18.63 the previous day.

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