u.s. crude oil futures

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    NYMEX oil slides more than $1 as OPEC cut unlikely
    AAP News
    9:14:020 8/02/2005
    NEW YORK, Feb 7 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures fell
    more than $1 on Monday after OPEC producers signaled the cartel
    could wait until its meeting in mid-March to consider cutting
    Crude for March delivery settled down $1.20 at
    $45.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after
    falling as low as $45.10.
    In London, Brent crude settled down 79 cents at
    $43.10 a barrel.
    Over the weekend, two OPEC producers indicated the cartel
    will likely not change output quotas until its next meeting.
    "We will wait until March," Algeria's Energy and Mines
    Minister Chakib Khelil said on Saturday.
    OPEC opted to keep production steady at its last meeting on
    Jan. 30, but left open the possibility of agreeing to cut
    production any time after a telephone conference.
    OPEC President Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahd al-Sabah reiterated
    that oil ministers would need to discuss taking action if
    prices fell 30 or 40 percent or surged above $50, or if
    commercial oil inventories climbed sharply, but not now.
    "Until now, I don't think there's any need for any
    consultations," Sheikh Ahmad said on Saturday. "Our worry is
    not now; our worry is the second quarter."
    OPEC is scheduled to meet next in Iran on March 16.
    Technical analysts expected NYMEX crude futures to test
    support on Monday, taking on a bearish bias after Friday's
    failed attempt to correct three days of decline.
    "The steady rise in open interest in a falling market
    suggests that funds are slowly increasing their short exposure,
    as they find less reason to stay long a market that is running
    out of bullish props," Edward Meir at Man Energy said.
    NYMEX March heating oil was down 4.36 cents at
    $1.2306 a gallon, breaking through support at $1.25.
    Warm weather has sapped demand in the U.S. Northeast, the
    world's largest heating oil market. Temperatures were forecast
    to average above normal through Wednesday, cooling off to near
    normal through the weekend, according to Meteorlogix.
    Several private forecasters are calling for warmer than
    usual conditions to prevail through March.
    NYMEX March gasoline was down 4.83 cents at $1.2122
    a gallon. Support was easily overcome at $1.2345.
    Iraq expects to restart its northern oil export pipeline in
    five or six days, ending a stoppage of more than seven weeks
    due to sabotage.
    The pipeline to Turkey has been idle since Dec. 18, forcing
    the country to rely entirely on shipments from the south for
    exports of around 1.43 million barrels per day in January.

    Reut 22:14 02-07-05
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