Weaker than anticipated US job growth reported Friday helped extend a decline in crude oil prices today, with futures dipping below $88 on Asian markets, reports the AP. Fears of a slowing economy and reduced demand are driving the decline. Investors had bet better employment figures would prompt the Fed to cut rates a half point, rather than an anticipated quarter point, when they meet tomorrow, continuing to weaken the dollar and strengthen oil prices.
Since tickling nearly $100 last month, oil prices have fluctuated widely, sliding more than 10% to $87.59 today. Oil surged $2.74 Thursday; analysts blamed everything from the US’s tough talk on Iran to the White House bailing out homeowners in the subprime mess to an OECD report on China. "We're just going to see these big daily swings," said one.