Crude oil futures were falling under $90 a barrel Monday in New York as traders feared that a global economic crisis would derail demand for petroleum products.

Recently, November-dated oil was dropping $4.13 to $89.75 a barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange. Less than three months ago, near-term contracts traded above $148, but they have quickly fallen off as the credit crisis has persisted. Brent crude was losing $4.49 to $85.76 a barrel.

Heating oil was down 12 cents at $2.54 a gallon, and reformulated gasoline was losing 12 cents to $2.11 a gallon. Natural gas was sinking 38 cents to $6.98 per million British thermal units.

The action in the foreign-exchange market was similarly jarring, as the U.S. dollar was making dramatic moves against its major competitors. The euro was falling 2.3% to $1.35, but the greenback was sinking 4.3% against the yen to 100.84. The Australian dollar was surrendering 8.6% to the American currency.

Elsewhere in commodities, gold was rising $33.60 to $866.80 an ounce, and silver was up 3 cents to $11.36 an ounce. Copper was a bit weaker.

Meanwhile, most energy stocks were in the red. Exxon Mobil ( XOM) was losing 1.6% to $76.66. Chevron ( CVX) and ConocoPhillips ( COP) were hit harder, diving 5% and 7%, respectively.

Devon ( DVN) was lower by more than 11% after cutting its third-quarter production forecast, partly because of storm damage.

European oil majors BP ( BP) and Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A) were sliding more than 7%. The U.S. Oil ( USO) ETF, which tracks crude prices, was showing a 4% decline.
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.

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