Oil prices slide again on roller coaster run

LONDON, June 9, 2008 (AFP) – Crude oil prices pulled back Monday from last week’s record highs as the dollar firmed against the euro and OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia stressed its willingness to meet any increase in demand. New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, slid 4.19 dollars a barrel to close at 134.35 dollars.
In London, Brent North Sea crude for July delivery dropped 3.78 dollars to settle at 133.91 dollars.

“The dollar’s recovery is pressuring prices,” said Eric Wittenauer, an analyst at Wachovia Securities.

The dollar gained on comments by US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson who, when asked about a possible currency intervention to help prop up the declining dollar in a CNBC television interview, said: “I would never take intervention off the table or any policy tool off the table.”

The euro dropped below 1.57 dollars after his remarks.

On Friday, the two benchmark crude oil futures contracts hit record all-time highs of 139.12 dollars in New York and 138.12 dollars in London.

The New York contract had its largest price jump on record — 10.75 dollars — to settle at 138.54 dollars.

“Friday’s action was seemingly overdone and certainly unexpected.