Oil prices have more or less stabilized around US$91 a barrel ay amid concerns over a possible slowing of the US economy that could lead to a drop in fuel demand. The US Conference Board's report indicates that its index of leading indicators dropped 0.4% in November to the lowest level in over two years. Energy investors have been visibly affected by this report, as declines in the index tend to precede economic slowdowns or recessions. Prices were also propped up on forecasts that OPEC oil shipments were falling by 230,000 bpd to 24.2 mln bpd during the 4 weeks ending Jan. 5.
Light, sweet crude for February delivery stood at US$91.12 a barrel in Asian electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by midmorning in Singapore. In London, Brent crude stood at US$91 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.