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Oil fell after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the economy is at risk from Europe’s debt crisis and the prospect of fiscal tightening, tempering optimism over a cut in Chinese interest rates.
Futures slipped as Bernanke refrained from discussing steps the Fed might take to boost growth in testimony before Congress today. Crude rose as much as 2.4 percent earlier when the People’s Bank of China said that the benchmark one-year deposit rate will drop by 0.25 percentage point starting tomorrow.
Crude oil for July delivery dropped 29 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $84.73 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract touched $87.03, the highest intraday price since May 31. Futures are down 14 percent this year.
Brent oil for July settlement declined 70 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $99.94 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
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