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Brent crude headed for the lowest close in almost four years after Iraq followed Saudi Arabia and Iran in cutting prices. West Texas Intermediate dropped.
Iraq, OPEC's second-biggest producer, will sell its Basrah Light crude to Asia at the biggest discount since January 2009, the country's State Oil Marketing Co., known as SOMO, said yesterday. Iran last week said it will sell oil to Asia in November at the biggest discount in almost six years, matching cuts by Saudi Arabia.
"OPEC is not ready to act and that's making people continue to sell," said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts. "Until we see some comments out of OPEC suggesting they are going to stabilize the price, I think the market will probably keep falling."
Brent for November settlement slid $1.83, or 2 percent, to $88.38 a barrel at 10:22 a.m. New York time on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. A settlement at this level would be the lowest since November 2010. The volume of all futures was 39 percent above the 100-day average. Prices are down 23 percent from this year's highest close of $115.06 on June 19.
WTI for November delivery dropped $1.15, or 1.3 percent, to $84.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Volume was 16 percent above the 100-day average. The U.S. benchmark crude was at a discount of $3.70 to Brent. It closed at $4.39 on Oct. 10.
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