European debt concern, Kim Jong Il’s death negatively affect crude oil price charts

Crude oil prices fell on lingering global cues today, as the debt crisis in the euro zone continued to drive the negative speculations surrounding demand for the fuel. Less than satisfactory economic reports from China and the U.S. also affected crude oil price charts.

This marks the fourth straight session the commodity oil has spent in negative territory, and the longest losing streak it has experienced since early August. Pessimistic speculations concerning Europe’s inability to handle its debt crisis ran high, as the region’s finance ministers prepared to hold a conference call due to take place later today. The call is to outline Europe’s plan of attack regarding its floundering bailout fund, as well as the individual economies of its states. The creation of new stricter budget rules is also slated for discussion. Rumours that new and more severe austerity measures are to be placed in effect in the debt-addled area coupled with OPEC’s higher production caps, drove expectations for global demand growth down in an extreme fashion.

Crude oil prices also suffered after an announcement went out that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died. Hong Kong economists were recorded as saying that the crude market is brimming with uncertainty and Kim’s death only aggravates the situation. The potential for further political instability in Asia following the death of Kim Jong Il comes at a difficult time for China, the leading economy of the continent.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices for delivery in January declined as much as 87 cents to $92.67 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. February’s contract currently sits at $92.93 per barrel, showing a considerable fall of 82 cents. Futures are up a mere 2% for the year, compared to the 15% climb they made through 2010.

Brent crude oil prices charts for February settlement suffered similar losses, with the commodity oil declining 74 cents to $102.61 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange in London.