UPDATE 8-Oil drops a 4th day on economic growth fears

* OPEC monthly report signals slow 2011 demand growth

* U.S. retail sales, consumer view improve only slightly

* Coming up: Empire State Aug business index, Monday

(Updates with settlement prices, market activity)

By Robert Gibbons

NEW YORK, Aug 13 (BestGrowthStock) – Crude oil prices fell a fourth
straight day on Friday, dropping 6.6 percent for the week, on
mounting concerns about slowing economic growth that have
weighed on equities and oil prices.

Friday’s mixed data did not alleviate the concerns or
provide much market cheer.

U.S. retail sales rebounded in July but the gains were
concentrated in autos and gasoline station sales and showed
hints of lingering economic softness. [ID:nN13180040]

Consumer sentiment showed improvement in August, but as
with the retail sales data, there were still signs people
remain nervous about the near term.

Oil prices had already been pummeled earlier in the week by
a jobless claims rise highlighting a fragile U.S. employment
sector after last week’s disappointing July nonfarm payrolls
report, and by rising refined fuel stockpiles punctuating tepid
oil demand.

U.S. crude for September (CLc1: ) delivery fell 35 cents to
settle at $75.39 a barrel, trading from $75.01 to $76.74.

For the week, U.S. crude lost $5.31, or 6.6 percent, the
biggest weekly percentage loss since the week to July 2, when
prices ended down $6.72, or 8.52 percent, with the market
pressured by a weak June nonfarm payrolls on that Friday.

U.S. September RBOB gasoline futures (RBc1: ) fell 1.52 cents
to settle at $1.9396 a gallon on Friday. That was down 17.31
cents, or 8.19 percent in the week, also the biggest weekly
percentage loss since the week to July 2.

U.S. heating oil futures (HOc1: ) fell 0.59 cent to settle at
$1.9956 a gallon, down 15.16 cents, or 7 percent, and also the
biggest weekly percentage loss since the week to July 2.

Front-month ICE Brent crude (LCOc1: ) also fell a fourth
straight day on Friday, dropping 41 cents to settle at $75.11 a


Graphic on the technical outlook:


Graphic on oil’s correlation with euro, equities



“The whole week has been about poor economic data and
today’s releases show that the U.S. consumer is still on the
mend,” said Harry Tchilinguirian, commodity strategist at BNP

“Retail sales disappointed and if consumer confidence in
August managed to come in a notch above expectations … it
still remains below the June reading.”

The U.S. dollar rose and headed for its strongest weekly
performance against major currencies in almost two years as a
lackluster Italian debt sale and tepid U.S. consumer data fed
slower growth fears. The euro fell (Read more about the trembling euro. ) to a three-week low against
the dollar.

Earlier on Friday, strong euro zone economic data pushed
oil prices up $1, before the rally by European stocks and the
euro gave way. Euro zone gross domestic product grew at its
fastest pace in more than three years in the second quarter,
boosted by strong performances in Germany and France.


The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said
in a monthly report that oil demand growth would continue be
slow in 2011, when world economic expansion is projected to be
slightly lower than in 2010, leaving the current supply
overhang intact. [OPEC/M]

And with U.S. crude oil inventories remaining at a premium
to year-ago levels, OPEC members’ production has been creeping
higher. Members with output quotas — all except Iraq —
produced 26.861 million barrels per day in July, 142,600 bpd
more than in June.
(Additional reporting by Gene Ramos in New York, Emma Farge in
London and Florence Tan in Singapore; Editing by Lisa

UPDATE 8-Oil drops a 4th day on economic growth fears