BANGKOK (AP) — Oil prices fell Monday, just eight days before the U.S. arrives at the “fiscal cliff” deadline without a budget agreement in place.
If no deal is reached by Jan. 1, steep tax increases and government spending cuts will automatically take effect that will jar the U.S. economy and potentially throw it into recession, economists have warned.
Benchmark oil for February delivery fell 14 cents to $88.52 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.47 Friday to finish at $88.66 per barrel in New York, the contract’s lowest point in three weeks. It dropped to $87.96 per barrel at one point Friday.
Oil prices tend to drop when a major world economy is threatened by a downturn, which more often than not leads to reduced demand for energy.
It was little more than a week ago when news emerged that President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner had significantly narrowed their differences and appeared within striking distance of an agreement. Since then, however, negotiations have stalled with Obama and Congress on a short holiday break.
Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, fell 6 cents to $108.91 per barrel in London.
In other energy futures trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange:
— Natural gas lost 2 cents to $3.43 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Heating oil rose marginally to $3.0124 a gallon.
— Wholesale gasoline fell 2 cents to finish at $2.7355 a gallon.
More Related Stories
- Here come the tornado truthers. Already
- Peace Corps to allow gay couples to volunteer together
- Moore officials: Funds for "safe rooms" were held up by red tape
- Rand Paul: Congress should apologize to Apple, not the other way around
- Rescue crews race to find tornado survivors
- Looting in Oklahoma?
- Hundreds of low-wage federally contracted workers strike in D.C.
- Okla. mother's tearful reunion with her 8-year-old son
- New campaign compares gun control to anti-LGBT discrimination
- Study: Salt Lake City is gay parenting capital of the U.S.
- Inhofe and Coburn: Red state hypocrites
- Teen activist to meet with Abercrombie CEO
- Watch: Family emerges from storm shelter after tornado
- Must-see morning clip: Barackalypse Now
- Okla. tornado survivor reunited with dog trapped in rubble live on camera
- Is Pope Francis an exorcist?
- Oklahoma death count confirmed at 24, 9 children
- Frantic parents search for children in tornado's wake
- Crews dig through rubble after deadly tornado
- 51 killed in massive Oklahoma tornado
- Don't cry climate-change wolf
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11