Market watch, Oct. 17

World energy futures prices continued falling Monday, with traders taking profits from last week's run-up as diplomatic efforts seemed to quiet tension in the Middle East. The November contract for the benchmark US light, sweet crude dropped by $2.07 to $32.92/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


World energy futures prices continued falling Monday, with traders taking profits from last week's run-up as diplomatic efforts seemed to quiet tension in the Middle East.

The November contract for the benchmark US light, sweet crude dropped by $2.07 to $32.92/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while the December contract lost $1.74 to $32.39/bbl.

However, in after-hours electronic trading, both contracts moved up to $33.20/bbl and $32.71/bbl, respectively.

Home heating oil for November delivery plunged 4.38� to 97.23�/gal on the NYMEX, as unleaded gasoline for the same month declined 3.7� to 92.93�/gal.

The November contract for natural gas fell 17.3� to $5.36/Mcf.

In London, prices for North Sea Brent crude stagnated in early afternoon trade on the International Petroleum Exchange when it appeared that peace talks between Israel and Palestine had deadlocked. But the December Brent contract closed at $30.88, down $1.70 for the day.

The November natural gas contact remained flat at the equivalent of $3.95/Mcf on the IPE.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries dropped $1.51 to $30.83/bbl Monday.

The market began its downward adjustments on Friday. There was some speculation Monday that OPEC might increase production ahead of its scheduled Nov. 12 meeting.

However, Indonesian officials said that country has reached its maximum production capacity at 1.35 million b/d and would have great difficulty meeting an OPEC call for greater production. The Indonesian government has asked oil companies in that country to reassess their production capabilities.

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