Oil rallies after falling 15 dollars in three days

LONDON, July 18, 2008 (AFP) – Oil prices rallied on Friday after three days of heavy falls that pulled the market down by 15 dollars on worries over economic growth and slowing demand, traders said.

New York’s main oil contract, light sweet crude for August delivery, won back 2.39 dollars to 131.68.

London’s Brent North Sea oil for September delivery rallied 2.38 dollars to 133.35 dollars per barrel.

Over the course of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, New York crude dived by 15 dollars and London Brent almost 13 dollars.

“Prices were up two dollars a barrel, which appears to be a bounce following the recent steep sell off,” said analyst Michael Davies at the Sucden brokerage in London.

“There was some bullish news on the supply side, with a strike in Brazil being expanded to impact all production and refining units of the state run Petrobras.”

Prices have plummeted since striking record highs above 147 dollars per barrel at the same stage last week.

“What we are seeing is a bounce-back after very sharp falls,” agreed David Moore, a Sydney-based commodity strategist with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The oil market has tumbled as traders worried that th