Crude oil futures declined Tuesday after North Korean artillery opened fire on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong. The North says that it was provoked by shells from the South, which the South Korean government said were fired below the naval dividing line in a training exercise.
On the other side of the globe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that the euro is an "exceptionally serious" situation, as Ireland accepts a bailout package that may total 90 billion euros. The story overwhelmed positive news that the gross domestic product growth rate in the U.S.' third quarter was 2.5 percent, rather than 2 percent as previously reported.
"The market's concerned about European contagion with Portugal going next and Spain probably being the coup de grace," Stephen Schork, president of consultant Schork Group Inc. in Villanova, Pennsylvania, told Bloomberg News. "That's probably why you’re getting the weakness in crude over strength from the U.S. GDP number."
On the IntercontinentalExchange, Brent crude oil futures for January 2011 delivery slid 0.94 percent to $83.17 per barrel. Nymex West Texas Intermediate light, sweet crude oil futures for January 2011 delivery dropped 70 cents to $81.04 per barrel.
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