Crude prices down on easing fears

Crude oil prices fell on Monday as investor concern faded over an attempted attack on a Saudi Arabian oil processing facility on Friday. The Saudi oil minister said that the incident did not impact oil and gas production, and it was reported that on Sunday, Saudi forces killed five individuals linked to the attempt.

West Texas Intermediate crude prices for April delivery dropped $2.01 in early afternoon trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange to $60.90 per barrel. The decline reversed nearly all of WTI’s Friday gain of $2.37. Meanwhile, Brent crude April contracts on the International Petroleum Exchange fell by $1.57 to $61.01 per barrel by late afternoon in London. Brent had gained $2.06 on Friday.

Prices on petroleum products dropped as well. Nymex unleaded gasoline lost 6.31 cents to $1.4875 per gallon, a drop of $2.45 per barrel. Nymex heating oil dropped 5.17 cents to $1.6750 per gallon.

In the metals markets, gold was down $5 to $553.00/$553.70 per troy ounce. The precious metal lost over half of its $9 gain on Friday.

Base metal prices were down as well. Three-month copper was near a one-month low, losing $175 to $4,675 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange. The drop followed the announcement from Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold that its Grasberg mine in Indonesia was back in production after a blockade lasting three days.

Zinc was down by $15 to $2,245 per tonne on a significant decline in inventories at LME registered warehouses.

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