Oil fell to the lowest level in more than four months in New York Sunday night, after European elections and U.S. jobs data stoked concern economic growth will falter and curb fuel demand.
Futures plunged as much as 3.2 percent to the lowest intraday price since December 20, extending Friday's 4 percent decline after the Labor Department said U.S. payrolls rose by the least in six months. Crude also slid after France elected Socialist Francois Hollande as president and Greek voters flocked to anti-bailout parties, stoking concern austerity efforts aimed at reining in Europe’s debt crisis may be derailed.
“The economy is still seen to be struggling,” Glen Ward, the Dubai-based business development manager at online commodities trading platform provider ICM Capital, said in a phone interview Sunday. “I think it’ll be hard to find people coming in to buy at this point.”
Crude for June delivery plunged as much as $3.15 to $95.34 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $96.12 at 9:29 a.m. Sydney time (7:29 p.m. New York time). The contract fell $3.95 to $98.49 on Friday, the lowest close since February 7. Prices tumbled 6.1 percent last week, the biggest weekly drop since September.
Brent oil for June settlement slumped $1.94, or 1.7 percent, to $111.24 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark contract’s premium to West Texas Intermediate was at $15.12, from $14.69 on May 4.
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