Oil slumps to 7-month low

By Annalyn Censky, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Oil prices slipped to a new 7-month low Tuesday as the dollar neared a new four-year high against the euro.

What prices are doing: Crude for June delivery slipped 67 cents, or about 1%, settling at $69.41 a barrel Tuesday. The active contract for June delivery expires Thursday.

The last time crude fell below that price was September 29, when it settled at $66.71.

What's driving prices: The euro once again neared a four-year low, set in the previous day's trading session. A weakening euro and stronger dollar dampens demand for oil because it makes the commodity, which is priced in the U.S. currency, more expensive for foreign investors.

Reports that Germany will ban so-called "naked" short-selling tomorrow spooked currency investors and drove the euro down, analysts said.

Traditionally, short sellers borrow stock with the aim of selling it, then buying it back at a lower price and pocketing the difference. In a "naked" short sale, however, investors short the stock without actually borrowing it, making it much easier to drive down the share price of a company.

What experts are saying: "Short selling is part of investing, and when you see government leaders proposing rules like that, it seems a little desperate," said said James Cordier, president at Liberty Trading Group. "It struck fear into people that things are still not on the mend in Europe."

Overall, worries about a stalled global economic recovery have cut oil prices by about $15 per barrel in the last two weeks, as investors remain concerned that austerity plans in several European countries will hamper demand for fuel.

Earlier Tuesday, oil prices were rising on upbeat economic reports on new home construction and improved earnings from Wal-Mart and Home Depot. Crude reached as high as $72.36 a barrel before Europe woes once again ignited a stock market sell-off and investors took risk off the table. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.08%4.24%
15 yr fixed3.19%3.23%
5/1 ARM3.36%3.46%
30 yr refi4.06%4.15%
15 yr refi3.17%3.17%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,098.45 18.88 0.11%
Nasdaq 4,580.27 22.58 0.50%
S&P 500 2,003.37 6.63 0.33%
Treasuries 2.34 0.01 0.39%
Data as of 6:24am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.09 0.08 0.50%
Apple Inc 102.50 0.25 0.24%
Intel Corp 34.92 0.27 0.78%
Facebook Inc 74.82 0.96 1.31%
General Electric Co 25.98 -0.03 -0.12%
Data as of Aug 29

Sections

Union organizers say that fast food workers will strike in more than 150 cities on Thursday. Workers want a $15 minimum wage and protection from retaliation by employers. More

Gas prices are falling to nearly $3 a gallon in some parts of South Carolina, and that will soon be common in much of the country. More

Xiaomi is beating Apple and Samsung in China and 'selling a dream' as it bids for world smartphone domination. More

The Coolest Cooler is the most successful Kickstarter campaign in the site's history, raising $13.3 million from over 62,000 backers. More

Five CNNMoney readers share stories about saving that you can learn from: What they would do differently if they had another chance. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.