Possible US economic slowdown brings price of oil to 3-month low

By Pamela Sampson, AP

BANGKOK–The price of oil hovered near a three-month low Thursday, held back by worries about the U.S. economy and signs of a slowdown in demand.

Benchmark oil for November delivery was up 7 cents to US$102.73 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract dropped 47 cents on Wednesday to finish at US$102.66 a barrel, the lowest closing price since July 3.

Oil has fallen 7 percent since closing at a two-year high of US$110.53 on Sept. 6.

Meanwhile, supply numbers pointed toward a possible slip in demand. The American Petroleum Institute reported a slight drop in U.S. crude oil for the week ended Sept. 20 while the U.S. Energy Department said supplies increased by 2.6 million barrels that week.

Brent crude, the benchmark for international crudes used by many U.S. refineries, rose 33 cents to US$108.65 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex: — Wholesale gasoline rose 0.7 cent to US$2.664 per gallon. — Natural gas fell 0.6 cent to US$3.487 per 1,000 cubic feet. — Heating oil rose 1.3 cents to US$2.985 per gallon.