Oil fell from a five-week high in New York as European leaders pushed back a bailout for Greece, heightening concern that the region’s debt crisis will damage economic growth and curtail fuel consumption.
Europe’s creditor countries struggled to reach an agreement over a rescue of Greece, seeking more control over how future aid is spent as the country faces the threat of default over a bond payment due on March 20. Iran stopped crude exports to France and the Netherlands and threatened to end shipments to four other European countries, state-run Mehr reported yesterday, citing an unidentified official at the National Iranian Oil Co.
“Yet another postponement of the Greek deal is creating some risk-off” said Thorbjorn Bak Jensen, an analyst at Global Risk Management in Middelfart, Denmark. “Yesterday’s news from Iran was bullish, but not bullish enough to justify a rally. It is still rumors and speculation.”
Oil for March delivery fell as much as 78 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $101.02 and was at $101.27 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 10:53 a.m. London time. The contract yesterday rose $1.06 to $101.80, the highest close since Jan. 10.