7 Feb 2009

Oil falls 4% in price as US job losses mount

8:02 am on 7 February 2009

Oil prices fell over 4% on Friday after more job losses in the United States.

Nearly 600,000 jobs were lost in the US last month - the most severe cut since December 1974.

By 12.56pm ET (1756 GMT) on Friday, US light crude for March delivery was down $US1.71 to $US39.46 per barrel. London Brent fell $US1.28 cents to $US45.18.

Inventories in Cushing, Oklahoma - the delivery point for the US crude contract - are at record levels.

The economic slowdown has curbed demand for fuel around the world, causing prices to fall from a peak of $US147.27 per barrel on 11 July last year.

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed last year to cut 2.2 million barrels per day in January. The reduction was on top of curbs of 2 million bpd in place since September.

OPEC could cut a further 1 million bpd when it next meets on 15 March.