Crude oil prices fell Tuesday as investors fretted about tepid economic growth in the United States and mounting tensions between China and Japan. New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) or light sweet crude for October, dropped $1.33 from Monday, to $95.29 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for delivery in November slid $1.76 to settle at $112.03 a barrel. With the euphoria from last Thursday’s Federal Reserve announcement of fresh stimulus grown cold, investors focused on the reason for the need for central bank support: a slowing, sluggish US economy mired in high unemployment.
Tuesday’s oil price slump followed a mysterious plunge in late-session New York trade on Monday that left analysts baffled. That prices didn’t rebound right away showed that the market looked at the sudden dive “as potentially a little bit of a shift lower,” said David Bouckhout at TD Securities.