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Oil prices fall on economy fears

BBC NEWS

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Investors now doubt Opec will cut oil output in November

Oil prices have fallen because of more bad economic news and after Opec hinted it would not cut oil production soon.

US light, sweet crude fell more than $1 to $55.93 a barrel. Brent crude lost 52 cents to $53.72.

Investors fear demand for oil will be hurt as more countries slide into recession, with Japan’s economy the latest victim.

Prices were also hit after Opec’s president downplayed the chance of a November output cut.

“[Opec president] Chakib Khelil basically said that they will not cut on 29 November,” said Dave Ernsberger, Asia director of global energy information provider Platts in Singapore.

Earlier it was reported Iran would call for a cut of between 1m and 1.5m barrels a day when the oil cartel meets in Cairo later this month.

But Mr Khelil said Iran’s call was a “wish”.

The oil cartel decided in October to cut production by 1.5m barrels a day, but this has not stopped world oil prices from falling further.

They have dropped more than 60% since their record highs of nearly $150 a barrel in July.

Japan’s economy has entered its first recession since 2001 after shrinking by 0.1% in the third quarter. 

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