NEW YORK — Crude oil prices fell sharply Friday as rumors of a supply squeeze faded and traders took profits amid fresh worries about overproduction by OPEC exporters.
The July contract for West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark crude, lost 62 cents to close at $19.95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, ending off 3 cents for the week.
Trading was volatile all week, with July deliveries fluctuating in a $2-a-barrel range. Oil analysts say prices will remain volatile and could fall ahead of Tuesday's expiration of the July contract.
In the longer term, prices are expected to sag further as traders refocus on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' new output accord and the potential for a glut if Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates do not stick to their assigned quotas, dealers said.