Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Contract Expiration, OPEC Fears Knock Crude Oil Futures Lower

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Contract Expiration, OPEC Fears Knock Crude Oil Futures Lower

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) _ Crude oil futures prices fell Friday on pressures tied to the expiration of the current delivery contract and uncertainty ahead of next week's OPEC meeting.

Light sweet crude oil for delivery in December, which fell 35 cents on Thursday, dropped another 13 cents to settle at $16.56 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

It was the final day of trading in the December contract. Crude for January delivery, the main contract as of Monday, fell 4 cents to settle at $17.04.

Natural gas contracts for delivery in December, which also expired Friday, rose 4.9 cents to settle at $2.385 per 1,000 cubic feet. The January contract gained 1.1 cents to $2.318.

The market continued to be skeptical that members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will be able to agree on production cuts at a meeting next week in Vienna in an attempt to push up prices.

After a series of confusing statements by OPEC members earlier in the week about the cartel's plans, there was little clarification to be found on Friday. …

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