Energy futures prices retreated Monday, with gasoline and heating oil declining steeply before a late rally trimmed losses somewhat. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in August traded as low as $10.70 a barrel and settled at $11.04 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. August leaded gasoline settled below 33 cents a gallon, losing 1.23 cents.
"There's a general bad feeling hanging over the market," said Richard Marose, an analyst in Chicago with Geldermann Inc.
News from the cash market helped undermine an already weak futures complex, he said.
Brent crude briefly slumped in London to an all-time low of $9 a barrel. "Generally our market trades at about $1 to $1.25 above Brent," said Marose, "so we can expect a test of the $10 level or thereabouts (for West Texas Intermediate)."
The August heating oil delivery broke under 30 cents a gallon. "This was good news for consumers, but not for the industry," said Peter Beutel, an analyst in New York with Elders Futures Inc.
However, its inability to remain under this important support level prompted the late rally that cut losses across the board, said Marose.