West Texas Intermediate and Brent crudes dropped after Japan, the world’s third-largest oil consuming country, unexpectedly slipped into a recession.
Futures fell as much as 1.5 percent in New York and 1.9 percent in London. Japan’s economy shrank an annualized 1.6 percent in the third quarter, a second successive drop. Iran’s oil minister is preparing to visit the United Arab Emirates this week, according to Shana, the Tehran-based ministry’s news service. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is scheduled to meet Nov. 27.
Brent has declined about 32 percent from a June peak as leading OPEC members resisted calls to cut output and instead reduced some export prices while U.S. production climbed to the highest level in more than three decades. Venezuela, Libya and Ecuador have asked for action to support crude as the 12-member group prepares to meet in Vienna.
“The new Japanese data certainly doesn’t help the demand perception,” Bob Yawger, director of the futures division at Mizuho Securities USA Inc. in New York, said by phone. “OPEC will remain in the foreground, putting downward pressure on the market for the foreseeable future, until we get definitive word that they are going to cut output.”
WTI for December delivery decreased 82 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $75 a barrel at 9:05 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures touched $73.25 Nov. 14, the lowest intraday price since Sept. 21, 2010. The volume of all futures traded was about 48 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day.