Airlines should show strength tomorrow on oil news

Monday, March 24, 2008

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Oil fell by $1.50 to near the $100 a barrel mark on Monday, extending last week's deep losses as funds sought to lock in first-quarter profits and Saudi Arabia reassured consumers of its plans to boost supply.

U.S. light crude for May delivery fell $1.51 to $100.33 a barrel in Globex electronic trading by 9:00 p.m. EDT. Prices dropped by nearly $9, about 8 percent, last week as investors fled the commodities complex on fears that gains had been overdone, giving a boost to the beleaguered dollar in the process.

London Brent crude fell $1.12 cents to $99.26.

"I think there's still a lot of profit taking in the market and that is pushing down oil prices. The U.S. dollar is also bouncing back from major currencies so that's adding to the downward pressure," said Tetsu Emori, a Tokyo-based fund manager at Astmax Co Ltd.

"The market could also be reacting to comments from Saudi Arabia."

Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it was working to expand its oil production and refinery capacity in order to maintain world economic growth, reaffirming its vow to invest tens of billions of dollars in new wells and infrastructure.