Lingering debt concerns in euro zone drive crude oil prices down

Global crude oil prices took a tumble on the commodity index today, as traders of the fuel fretted over the lack of resolution for the debt crisis still plaguing the euro zone. Disappointing export growth figures out of China also affected the current crude oil price chart.

Investors and economists alike eagerly awaited the result of this week’s OPEC summit, during which the production rates of several key suppliers were to be cut. The reductions in output were to be made in order to make room for Libya’s return to the energy sector, as well as increase demand for the high-profile fuel.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices for delivery in January fell $1.64 to $97.77 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The American contract is now looking at its second consecutive week in the red. Futures are up 7% for the year, and 1.5% down since last week.

In London, Brent crude oil futures for January settlement managed to hold their ground, wrapping the afternoon at $108.52 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange.

Trader concern was quick to arise after the European Union held a crucial summit at the end of last week, during which a new fiscal union was formed aimed at cutting excess spending within the region, as well as bolstering its bailout chest. The union came under intense scrutiny mere days after its unearthing, as analysts speculated that it fell in neatly in a long line of theoretical debt resolutions brought up by Europe, which held no practical applicability in either the long or short term. The short-lived rally crude oil price charts experienced after Europe’s plan of action was revealed began retreating that same Friday, and though futures managed to hold through Monday, today has been riddled with steady declines.