Oil down near US$86 a barrel amid doubt following central bank moves


SINGAPORE–Oil fell to near US$86 a barrel Friday in Asia amid doubts that Europe and China’s interest rate cuts will be enough to halt an economic slowdown.

Benchmark oil for August delivery was down US$1.17 at US$86.05 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude fell 44 cents to settle at US$87.22 on Thursday in New York.

In London, Brent crude for August delivery was down US$1.24 at US$99.46 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Central bankers in Europe and China cut lending rates Thursday while the Bank of England pledged to boost money in circulation in a bid to spur weakening economic growth. Some analysts said the moves weren’t sufficiently drastic to spark growth while others expect more stimulus measures soon as the global economy deteriorates.

Crude has plummeted from US$106 two months ago as Europe’s economic and political turmoil dampens global growth expectations.

“We still believe that disappointing economic data going forward, while suggesting curtailed oil demand, will also increase the likelihood of some form of stimulus capable of reviving oil’s appeal,” energy trader and consultant Ritterbusch and Associates said in a report.