NEW YORK: Oil fell more than 2 per cent to below $67 a barrel on Tuesday after data showing a drop in US consumer confidence spurred concerns about the economy and sent investors into safer havens. US consumer confidence dropped to 46.6 in July from 49.3 in June, below analyst expectations of 49.0, recording its second consecutive decline as sentiment remained hampered by a difficult job market. The report, as well as disappointing quarterly results, pushed stock markets lower, while the dollar and the yen gained as investors dumped riskier assets. US crude traded down $1.49 to $66.89 a barrel at 11:26am EDT (1526 GMT), while London Brent fell $1.39 to $69.42 a barrel. The petroleum markets are backing off from the highs, seemingly prepared, along with the S&P 500, to at least take a break from the recent rally, said Tim Evans, analyst at Citi Futures Perspective in New York. Optimism a turnaround in the global economy could lift slumping fuel demand has supported crude prices this year. Crude fell from record highs near $150 a barrel last July to below $33 a barrel in December as the recession battered world consumption. A Reuters poll of analysts forecast oil prices will average $73 a barrel next year.
Courtesy: The News