Oil prices fell below US $60 for the first time in six months Monday amid signs of growing petroleum inventories and after BP PLC said it had permission to restart the eastern half of Alaska's Prudhoe Bay oil field.
"Hedge funds and investors have been bailing out because geopolitical tensions have eased and they also realize that inventories are high during this period of seasonally weak demand at the end of summer," said Victor Shum, an energy analyst with Purvin & Gertz.
Light, sweet crude for November delivery fell 90 cents to US $59.65 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by midday in Europe. Monday was the first time since March 13 that intraday trading has fallen below US $60 a barrel.
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