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Oil falls 5.4 percent in biggest drop since 2004

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Richard Valdmanis
Saturday, Aug 23, 2008

Crude oil prices fell more than 5.4 percent on Friday in the biggest one-day slide since 2004 as dealers turned their focus to rising supply levels and weakening global demand.

A rebound in the U.S. dollar encouraged the sell-off, applying downward pressure across the commodities markets by weakening the purchasing power of buyers using other currencies, dealers said.

The slide adds to a more than 20 percent fall in the price of crude since mid-July and could increase the chance oil cartel OPEC will cut official production limits when the group meets in Vienna on September 9.

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U.S. crude fell $6.59, or 5.4 percent, to settle at $114.59 a barrel — the biggest fall in percentage terms since December 27, 2004. London Brent crude fell $6.24 to $113.92 a barrel.

“People who were buying yesterday are taking profits today,” said Peter Beutel, analyst at consultancy Cameron Hanover. “There is also renewed technical selling and talk again of demand destruction. The dollar is strong again too.”

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This article was posted: Saturday, August 23, 2008 at 1:58 am

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