Crude oil resumed its slide and settled below 124 U.S. dollars Friday on falling fuel demand caused by a slow economy and supply increase from the OPEC countries.
Light, sweet crude for September delivery dropped 2.23 dollars to settle at 123.26 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures touched 122.50 dollars a barrel during the trading session, the lowest intraday price since June 5. Price has tumbled more than 24 dollars since the all-time peak of 147.27 dollars a barrel was achieved on July 11.
The U.S. Energy Department's report this week showed that the U.S. domestic fuel demand dropped to a lowest point since January 2007 with average 19.9 million barrels a day, signaling that the weak economy and high energy prices have curbed demand.
The OPEC will produce 32.9 million barrels a day in July, 200,000 barrels up from June, according to the preliminary estimates from an oil industry consultancy Petro Logistics Ltd.
The dollar strengthened against the euro on Friday also helped to bring down the crude oil price.
In London, Brent crude for September delivery fell 1.92 dollars to settle at 124.52 dollars a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange.
(Xinhua News Agency July 26, 2008)