Oil prices take breather amid recession fears

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