The slide continued this afternoon, a day after the price of crude actually settled in positive territory. Crude oil dipped further under $60 on Friday morning.

Light, sweet crude for delivery in August fell 78 cents to $59.63 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, but even dropped below $59 earlier. The contract picked up 27 cents late on Thursday to settle at $60.41.

On Friday, some eyes focused on a new demand forecast from the International Energy Agency. It showed a 1.4 million barrel a day uptick in oil demand in 2010. The 1.7% rise to 85.2 million barrels a day will be largely led by developing countries, the Paris-based energy policy adviser reported. Still, the group also expected no change in 2009 demand, which showed a 2.5 million barrel a day decline, or 2.9%.

But disheartening consumer confidence figures have also cast a pall over the market today.

Chevron ( CVX), which has helped to drag down many today, rose 30 cents to $63.08 Thursday. But it saw its shares tumble nearly 3% this afternoon.

Late Thursday, the company warned that its second-quarter numbers would be affected by falling margins in domestic refining and a weaker dollar.

Other oil stocks were mixed in the afternoon. Exxon Mobil ( XOM) shares dropped 0.4% by the close Thursday, and followed that up with another 1.4% drop today.Shares of Occidental Petroleum ( OXY), which gained 2.5% yesterday, was sliding 0.2%, or 15 cents, at $60.88. Marathon Oil ( MRO) finished up 2.3% on Thursday, but was falling 0.8%, or 24 cents, at $28.43.

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