Crude oil prices down on doubts about OPEC cuts

| October 31, 2006

Crude oil prices were down again on Tuesday, although the declines were not as pronounced as the 4 percent drop on Monday. Part of the price declines came as analysts and traders continue to doubt that the OPEC production cuts slated to be implemented beginning Wednesday will actually materialize. So far, only Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have informed customers that cuts are coming. Worries of a slowdown in economic growth in the United States also helped send prices lower.

Brent crude for December delivery dropped 88 cents to $57.80 per barrel in late trade in London, while December contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude were $1 lower to $57.36 per barrel by early afternoon in New York. Prices for gasoline and heating oil were also lower. Nymex November unleaded gasoline fell 5.75 cents to $1.3980 per gallon, while Nymex November heating oil dropped 2.3 cents to $1.5785.

In the metals markets on Tuesday, Zinc hit another record high, hitting $4,300 per tonne during the session after London Metal Exchange inventories fell again. Analysts have predicted that the price of zinc could reach $5,000 per tonne by the end of the year. Three-month lead was trading at $1,630 per tonne at one point during the day, while copper added $25 to $7,395 per tonne. The price of aluminium, however, was $19 lower to $2,789 per tonne.


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