Crude Sinks on Demand Fears: Oil Alert

Oil futures settle lower by $2.65 after investors take profits on demand worries.
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) -- The dollar goes down and the price of crude goes up, right? Wrong -- at least for today anyways, as oil futures fell below $70 on profit-taking and renewed fears that prices aren't aligning with demand realities.

On Friday, the front-month contract for light, sweet crude tumbled $2.65 to settle at $69.29 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. However, oil tracked higher for four straight days before today and finished nearly 1.9% higher for the week compared to last Friday's settlement at $68.02.

More than a few reports today were pointing the finger at demand metrics. Yesterday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said oil supplies plunged by a more-than-expected 5.9 million barrels last week, while the International Energy Agency boosted its oil demand forecasts for this year and next.

Still, a few reports pointed out that the EIA's other news about a sharp jump in U.S. refined product supplies like gasoline and distillate fuels, along with still higher supplies for all, worried investors about the underlying fundamentals for the recent gains.

To cloud the picture further, the weakening greenback, which has helped power much of oil's climb of late, dropped to a new low against the euro today.

Most of the oil majors tracked lower by the closing bell today.

Exxon Mobil

(XOM) - Get Report

finished at $69.98, down 67 cents, while


(CVX) - Get Report

lost 70 cents at $70.75.


(COP) - Get Report



(BP) - Get Report

also finished lower, losing 0.9% and 0.8% each.

Among other energy movers, natural gas players

Anadarko Petroleum

(APC) - Get Report


Chesapeake Energy

(CHK) - Get Report

added 1.3% and 3.5%, respectively.

American depositary shares for Spanish integrated operation



, which earlier confirmed what could amount to one of the

largest natural gas finds in the world, closed at $25.87, up 26 cents or 1%.

-- Written by Sung Moss in New York

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