Oil prices take breather amid recession fears

CEAT Kelani Holdings Managing Director Ravi Dadlani (right) and Lanka Ashok Leyland CEO Umesh Gautham exchange the OEM agreement

SINGAPORE, June 9, 2008 (AFP) – World oil took a breather Monday from spiralling prices seen hitting 150 dollars which have prompted consumer nations to urge a production increase amid warnings of a global recession. New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, eased 1.06 dollars to 137.48 dollars a barrel after making its biggest one-day jump ever on Friday. The contract jumped 10.75 dollars a barrel to close at a record 138.54 dollars.

Also on Friday in intraday trade the benchmark contract crossed 137, 138 and 139 dollars for the first time and soared to an all-time high of 139.12 dollars.

Brent North Sea crude for July dropped 1.30 dollars to 136.39 dollars a barrel after smashing barriers Friday in London. Brent hit a new intraday high of 138.12 dollars a barrel before it eased back to settle at a record 137.69 dollars, up 10.15 dollars.

Both futures contracts far exceeded their prior record highs set on May 22 — 135.09 dollars in New York and 135.14 in London.

Crude oil leapt in reaction to a new decline in the US dollar after the European Central Bank on Thursday signalled an interest rate hike and the US reported a sharp rise in unemployment on Friday, analyst

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