LONDON (AFP) -World oil prices drifted lower on the first trading day of the year, as dealers absorbed forecasts of unseasonally warm weather in key energy consumer the United States.
New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in February, dropped 17 cents to 60.88 dollars per barrel in electronic deals Tuesday.
In London, Brent North Sea crude for February delivery lost 16 cents to 60.70 dollars in electronic trading.
Pit trading in New York will be closed later Tuesday because of a national day of mourning for former US president Gerald Ford. Global oil markets were shut Monday for New Year celebrations.
Crude futures had edged higher last Friday — the last day of trading in 2006 — closing out a volatile year that saw record price levels and then a sharp decline of more than 20 percent from mid-year highs.
Prices tumbled in 2006 after rocketing to record peaks during the northern hemisphere summer amid unrest in the oil-rich Middle East and supply disruptions.
Oil prices have since plunged owing to high levels of US energy stocks and milder-than-expected temperatures in the United States.