Recession fears haunt commodity markets

LONDON, October 17, 2008 (AFP) – World commodity prices tumbled this week, with oil striking a 17-month low point under 66 dollars a barrel in London, as fears of a global recession weighed on demand for raw materials.

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“The fears about this global credit crisis leading to an extended economic slump, and perhaps a recession, really are causing investors to bail out,” said Victor Shum from the Purvin and Gertz energy consultancy.

OIL: The price of crude oil on international markets plunged over the week despite a muted rally on Friday.

London’s Brent North Sea crude hit a 17-month low point at 65.45 dollars per barrel on Thursday.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude, tumbled to settle at 69.85 dollars on Thursday, the first time the benchmark contract had closed below the 70-dollar level since August 2007.

After this week’s fresh price falls, OPEC said Thursday that it would hold an extraordinary meeting next Friday — instead of in November — to discuss the global financial crisis and its impact on the oil market.

The news caused crude prices