Oil drops below $100 first time since February

NEW YORK — The price of oil dropped below $100 per barrel for the first time since February. The dramatic drop — $5 per barrel by midday — is easing fears that high energy prices would cripple a U.S. economy that is struggling to overcome high unemployment, stagnant wages and weak growth.

The catalyst was Friday’s weaker than expected report on job growth in the U.S. That added to recent signs that the global economy is weakening, meaning demand for oil should slow.

Earlier this year, world oil demand looked to be rising quickly at the same time that world supplies were threatened by a host of small production outages and the prospect of drastically reduced production from Iran, the world’s third biggest exporter.

Those developments raised the prospect that world supplies would be at their most tenuous just as the summer driving season in the developed world was arriving. The price of the U.S. benchmark oil rose to $110. International oil spiked even higher, to $128 per barrel.

Gasoline prices in the U.S. appeared to be on track to soar past $4 per gallon nationwide and break the 2008 record of $4.11

That picture has now been turned upside down. World oil supplies are growing while demand is falling. U.S. gasoline prices have fallen to $3.80 per gallon from a peak of $3.94 in early April. Now they could go as low as $3.50 per gallon by July 4, according to Tom Kloza, Chief Oil Analyst at the Oil Price Information Service.

More in Herald Business Journal

Peoples, HomeStreet banks bump lowest salaries after tax cut

The banks with Snohomish County branches will raise minimum salaries for employees to $15 an hour.

Exotic animals find compassionate care in Bothell (video)

At the Center for Bird and Exotic Animal Medicine, vets treat snakes, hedgehogs and even kangaroos.

Don’t take economic forecasts to the bank — or the casino

Air travel delays could spur a rebirth of passenger rail service.

Amanda Strong (left) tries on an Angel of the Winds Arena hat as she and Courtney Brown hand out gift bags after the renaming ceremony Dec. 13 in Everett. The new name replaces the Xfinity name. (Andy Bronson / Her file)
Angel of the Winds to break ground on $60M casino expansion

“We think we’re on the cusp of becoming a major resort.”

In this Dec. 20, 2017, photo, a clerk reaches to a shelf to pick an item for a customer order at the Amazon Prime warehouse, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Amazon’s potential HQ2 sites leaves many cities disappointed

And yet, some municipal leaders are looking at the bright side of being rejected.

How do you retrieve an errant Boeing 737 from a muddy slope?

Turkish authorities used cranes to lift a plane that skidded off a runway.

Emirates orders 20 more Airbus A380 jumbos, saving program

The Dubai carrier also has options to buy 16 more. The program seems safe until 2029.

U.S. government proposes new rules for hog slaughter

The plan lets plant workers be in charge of removing unfit hogs, instead of government inspectors.

House passes bill aimed at lowering gender wage gap

The bill would hinder employers from retaliating against female workers who ask about others’ pay.

Most Read