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Crude Oil prices drop below $100 on Japan Earthquake and OPEC

Commodities / Crude Oil Mar 12, 2011 - 05:35 AM GMT

By: LiveCharts

Commodities

A major 8.9 earthquake and tsunami struck Japan overnight in the United States, Friday afternoon in Northeast Asia.

Japan is the third largest consumer oil and the emotional response from speculators quickly knocked light sweet crude futures below $100. In early Friday morning New York NYMEX trade, crude futures are worth $100.05 per barrel


The dollar has made gains against both the euro and pound in sync with the declines in oil prices. The euro currently gets $1.37726, down two pips from recent highs. A pound is worth $1.59929, down nearly four pips from recent highs.

Along with the emotional catalyst provided by the disaster in Japan, news following the most recent Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting provided a more rational reason for lower oil prices.

While maintaining that it believes current production of oil from the OPEC nations remains strong in lieu of Libya’s political concerns, the members also stated their willingness to increase production if necessary to meet increased global demand requirements.

OPEC indicated that other members have increased production releasing, which offsets some of the declines in Libya production. It also noted that a regular period of seasonal slowdowns around the world makes ramping up production less necessary.

Actual OPEC production during February increased by 110,000 barrels per day according, to the group. This marks the highest production level since a December 2008 agreement led to cuts in output.

Concerns about how widespread the tsunami and after effects of the earthquake in Japan have also caused lingering uncertainty. The western coast of the United States is anticipating some effects from tidal waves and other symptoms of the tsunami.

Americans are hoping the lower oil prices will put a cap on rising gasoline prices that have caused people in some parts of the United States to pay nearly $4 per gallon of late.

Neil Kokemuller

LiveCharts.co.uk

Neil Kokemuller is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Des Moines Area Community College in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. He has a MBA from Iowa State University. He is also in house stock market commentator at Live Charts UK, where you can find real time charts and share prices .

Copyright © 2011 Live Charts

Please note: The information provided in this article is intended for informational and entertainment purposes, and not as advice for financial decisions or investments. Actions taken on the basis of the information shared is at the sole risk and discretion of the individual. Currency investment poses significant risk of loss.

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