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Oil Heads for Biggest Weekly Drop Since 2004 Before Jobs Report

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Christian Schmollinger and Grant Smith
Friday, Oct 3, 2008

Crude oil was little changed in New York, poised for the biggest weekly drop since 2004, before a U.S. employment report expected to reinforce signs of recession in the world’s biggest energy user.

Oil has declined 12 percent this week as higher borrowing costs and reports showing a worsening economy spurred skepticism that the U.S. government’s $700 billion bank-bailout plan will stimulate growth. The U.S. probably lost jobs in September for a ninth month, according to a Bloomberg survey before today’s Labor Department report.

“Panic, risk aversion and liquidation of contracts are characterizing the oil market as well as many other markets at the moment,” said Thina Saltvedt, a Nordea Bank AB analyst in Oslo. “Prices are not only being set by fundamentals, but fears of how crises in the financial sector may spread to other parts of the economy.”

(Article continues below)

Crude oil for November delivery traded at $94.09 a barrel, 12 cents higher, on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 10:58 a.m. London time, after falling as much as $1.16 to $92.81 a barrel.

Yesterday, futures dropped $4.56, or 4.6 percent, to $93.97 a barrel in New York. Oil has declined 37 percent from its record $147.27 on July 11. The weekly drop is the biggest since Dec. 3, 2004.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Commodities, as measured by the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 raw materials, have tumbled 9.9 percent this week, the most since at least 1956. The index has slumped 31 percent from a record on July 3.

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This article was posted: Friday, October 3, 2008 at 3:50 am

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