Crude oil fell more than $2 a barrel after not breaking through $72.90, this month’s high, a signal for traders to sell futures. Prices in New York dropped for the first time in five sessions as U.S. stock markets retreated. Futures also declined because of rising U.S. fuel stockpiles. The contract climbed for the week as a lower dollar bolstered the appeal of commodities to investors as an inflation hedge. “The market failed to sustain the move higher,” said Tom Bentz, a senior energy analyst at BNP Paribas Commodity Futures Inc. in New York. “Oil took out the highs of the last two days, got up to $72.90, and ran out of steam. It then quickly retreated below the last two days’ lows.”
Crude oil for October delivery fell $2.65, or 3.7 percent, to $69.29 a barrel at 2:54 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the biggest decline since Aug. 31. Prices climbed 1.9 percent for the week and 55 percent for the year. “This week turned out to be a wash,” said Stephen Schork, president of consultant Schork Group Inc. in Villanova, Pennsylvania. “We came in this week like bulls and ended it like bears. There’s no clue as to where prices will move when we come in next week.”
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index declined 0.1 percent to 1,043.24 at 3:21 p.m. and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.2 percent to 9,606.17. The dollar was little changed against the euro. The U.S. currency traded at $1.4595 compared with $1.4582 yesterday. It touched $1.4634, the lowest level since Dec. 18.
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