Oil falls toward $103 as IMF cuts growth forecast

Friday, October 4, 2013, Vol. 37, No. 40

BANGKOK (AP) — The price of oil fell Wednesday, a day after the International Monetary Fund lowered its forecast for global growth through the end of next year.

Benchmark crude for November delivery fell 22 cents to $103.27 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 46 cents to settle at $103.49 on the Nymex on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the Washington-based International Monetary Fund said it was cutting its global economic growth forecasts for 2013-14, primarily due to slowing growth in China, India, Brazil and other developing countries.

Michael Hewson of CMC Markets said in an email commentary that oil prices, while posting gains Tuesday, "remain capped somewhat by concerns that a slowdown in emerging markets could well weigh on demand."

The IMF also warned that the U.S. would harm the world economy if it fails to raise its borrowing limit. If Congress doesn't raise the limit on the amount of money the country can borrow by Oct. 17, the nation could face an unprecedented default on its debts.

Oil prices have bounced around between $101 and $104 a barrel after the U.S. government was forced to partially halt operations last week. The shutdown occurred when Congress failed to agree on short-term funding for the nation past the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

Brent, the benchmark for international crudes, fell 28 cents to $109.88 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline rose 0.5 cent to $2.6357 per gallon.

— Natural gas was flat at $3.716 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil fell 0.4 cent to $3.0285 per gallon.