Nymex Crude Eases, Continues To Track Equities

NEW YORK--Crude-oil futures edged lower Monday in tandem with equity markets on continued concern that slow global economic growth would limit oil demand.

Light, sweet crude for September delivery fell four cents, or less than 0.1%, to settle at $95.97 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. October Brent crude on ICE Futures Europe fell one cent to settle at $113.70 a barrel.

"To a large extent, it continues to be a situation of the crude and equities moving pretty much in lockstep with each other," said Kyle Cooper, a managing partner at IAF Advisors in Houston.

Equity markets fell after the European Central Bank said a report that the central bank was considering capping bond yields for struggling economies was "absolutely misleading."

Declines in equities and the euro Monday turned traders away from risky markets like crude oil, said Tim Evans, an analyst for Citi Futures Perspective.

Trading was especially thin in the Nymex September contract, which is set to expire Tuesday.

ICE Brent for October delivery, meanwhile, wavered throughout the session. "The losses in the Brent market in particular seem to be limited" by continued concerns over short-term supply due to maintenance in the North Sea, Mr. Evans said.

Brent has climbed more than 10% this month on supply fears, pushing prices out of sync with slower demand growth, said Commerzbank in a note. Brent will fall to $110 a barrel by the end of 2012, the bank said.

Oil-based products, having traded higher with Brent earlier in the day, settled in positive territory.

Front-month September reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, rose 0.33 cent, or 0.1%, to settle at $3.0308 a gallon. September heating oil rose 0.5 cent, or less than 0.1%, to settle at $3.0931 a gallon.


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