Sunday, September 21, 2008

Crude Oil Falls After Nigerian Militants Call End to Attacks

By Gavin Evans

Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil fell for the first time in four days as Nigerian militants stopped attacks on oil facilities and investors awaited the U.S. government's proposed $700 billion rescue package for the finance industry.

The rally in oil, up 15 percent the past three days, stalled as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta ended attacks that cut production by 280,000 barrels a day the past week. U.S. lawmakers are pledging fast consideration of the Treasury's plan to buy devalued mortgage-related securities from investment firms to keep the financial system from stalling.

Crude oil for October delivery fell 86 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $103.69 a barrel at 8:24 a.m. in Sydney. The contract, which expires at the close of trading today, jumped as much as 7.4 percent on Sept. 19 as investors bought oil to cancel out earlier bets on falling prices.

The more widely held November contract traded at $102.52 a barrel, down 0.2 percent. It gained 5.3 percent on Sept. 19.

Oil fell more than $10 a barrel early last week as the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. shocked world equity markets. Prices gained 3.3 percent over the five trading days, the first weekly increase since August, as the dollar slumped on the prospect of the biggest U.S. financial bailout since the Great Depression.

The U.S. dollar fell to $1.4483 against the euro in early Asian trading today. The currency dropped 1.7 percent last week, its biggest decline since March 28, to $1.4466 per euro in late New York trading on Sept. 19.

Brent crude oil for November settlement rose $4.42, or 4.6 percent, to $99.61 a barrel on London's ICE Futures Europe exchange on Sept. 19.

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