Oil down 2 percent on Greek worries, weaker products markets
By Barani Krishnan
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Crude oil fell about 2 percent on Friday, the first decline after three days of gains, as worries over the Greek fiscal crisis, weaker oil products prices and pre-weekend profit taking undercut the market.
Gasoline RBc1 and diesel's proxy, heating oil HOc1, led the oil complex lower, sliding more than 2 percent as concerns about their high refining margins over crude prompted those who had been bullish on such products to close out some positions.
A slowdown in the decline of U.S. oil rigs did not help. Oil services firm Baker Hughes reported an overall drop of four U.S. rigs this week, compared to 7 last week. It also cited new drilling activity in the Permian and Bakken shale basins, a sign that higher crude prices were coaxing producers back to the well pad after a six-month price rout. [RIG/U]
Brent crude LCOc1 fell $1.24, or 1.9 percent, to settle down for the first time since Monday at $63.02 a barrel.
U.S. crude CLc1 slipped 84 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $59.61.
For the week, Brent fell 1.3 percent, and U.S. crude half a percent.
Traders said the decline was mostly on fears about Greece, which teetered on the edge of default.
Euro zone leaders will hold an emergency summit on Monday to try and throw a lifeline to Athens. While the crisis has affected equity and treasury markets more than oil, the dollar's resultant rise .DXY has made commodities denominated in the greenback costlier for users of currencies like the euro. [FRX/] Continued...