Oil fell for a fifth day in New York to the lowest price in almost eight months on signs of an economic slowdown in the U.S. and China. London-traded Brent crude dropped from the lowest close in more than a year.
The international military intervention in Libya risks prolonging the shutdown of North Africa’s most productive oil fields as well as reprisals by Muammar Qaddafi ’s regime against foreign energy assets.
OPEC, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s crude, kept its production target unchanged in a widely anticipated move that left the group’s output below forecast demand for the rest of the year.
OPEC will probably maintain production levels when it meets in Vienna next week, resisting calls to ease the pressure of $100-a-barrel oil on the global economy, according to a survey of analysts by Bloomberg News.
Oil advanced for the first time in three days in New York, trimming a weekly decline as investors bet that fuel demand will increase with an economic recovery in the U.S., the world’s biggest crude consumer.