Friday’s gains hold steady, as crude oil prices fluctuate

Crude oil prices displayed what this year has come to be typical volatility on the charts today, swinging repeatedly between losses and gains, as traders speculated on the long term implementation potential of Europe’s newly formed fiscal union and its ambitious aims of reining in the region’s spiralling debt crisis. Investors of the fuel and analysts continued to ponder whether euro zone’s persistent struggle with debt and frivolous spending would raze the surges recent crude oil price history suggests. OPEC’s officials stated that several high output nations amid its ranks would cut down on production quotas in order to integrate increased fuel exports out of Iraq and Libya.

Though initial confidence rose when Europe’s plan of attack concerning debt was first revealed, that first wave of hope quickly gave way to critique and wonder regarding its actual effectiveness and long term sustainability. One of the main points of concern for crude traders were the severe cut downs spending by the euro zone nations as part of new austerity clause. Economists have expressed worries that slashing down on spending too severely would eventually lead to a drastic drop in demand, which could potentially drive the continent back into a recession, something that the fiscal union is essentially attempting to avoid.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices for delivery in January dipped 10 cents to $99.31 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Analysts are now projecting that the continued disputes surrounding Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the ensuing sanctions will likely push the American benchmark back over the resistant $100 per barrel threshold and may even fuel the commodity to rise as high as $102 before the year’s end.

Brent crude oil price charts remained similarly unchanged, dropping 18 cents to $108.44 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange in London.

By Chris Termeer