BUSINESS

Crude oil falls below US$96 a barrel on concerns about stimulus measures

06/11/2013 04:43 EDT | Updated 08/11/2013 05:12 EDT
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Oil prices dropped Tuesday along with stocks and other commodities on concerns that central banks around the globe may back off on measures to boost the global economy.

OPEC's disclosure that its members boosted production by 106,000 barrels a day in May also out pressure on prices. Some experts feel the world already has an ample supply to meet current demand.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery fell 39 cents to close at US$95.38 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after going as low as US$94.04 earlier in the day.

The Bank of Japan opted to stick to its current bond-buying program Tuesday, disappointing some investors' hopes for new measures to help the world's third-largest economy.

Addison Armstrong, senior director of market research at Tradition Energy in Washington, said the BoJ's decision increased concerns "that global central banks will soon begin to pull back on stimulus measures."

Investors have been trying to guess the timetable for the U.S. Federal Reserve to wind down its massive bond-buying program. The $85 billion-a-month asset purchases have helped keep interest rates at historic lows, prompting investors to turn to stocks and commodities in search of returns that outdo bonds.

Elsewhere Brent crude, a benchmark for many international oil varieties, fell 94 cents to finish at US$102.97 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex, wholesale gasoline fell three cents to end at US$2.82 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres), heating oil fell three cents to finish at US$2.86 a gallon and natural gas dropped eight to end at $3.72 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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