Finance Markets

March 6, 2006

Crude prices down ahead of OPEC meeting

Permalink: Crude prices down ahead of OPEC meeting

Filed under: Commodities, Oil, Metals, Economy

After indications from the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries on Monday that current production levels would be maintained when the group meets later in the week in Vienna, crude oil prices dropped for the first time in a week. Only one OPEC member, Venezuela, has been calling for a cut in production but the group’s largest producer, Saudi Arabia, has advocated keeping production at the current 28 million barrels per day.

Brent crude for April delivery on the International Petroleum Exchange dropped $1.41 to $62.77 per barrel in London. April contract West Texas Intermediate crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $1.07 to $62.60 per barrel.

The declines came even though there is still concern about supply disruptions from Nigeria and Iran due to political conditions. Nigerian militants made additional threats on Sunday. Meanwhile, even though Iran has promised not to use it’s oil production as a political tool, but analysts continue to be concerned that if the nation’s nuclear program continues to be challenged that position could change.

Meanwhile, in the metals markets, gold was down slightly to $564.10 per troy ounce. Platinum was down by 0.7 percent to $1,050, but palladium remained unchanged at $300 per troy ounce. In base metals, three-month copper was down 2.1 percent to $4,855 per tonne.

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