Oil Tumbles Below $100 as U.S. Payroll Growth Trails Forecasts

‘Psychological Number’

“Falling below $100 will have a major impact on consumer confidence as it signals some relief from high prices,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that focuses on energy. “This is the biggest psychological number on the board for both investors and consumers,”

Gasoline for June delivery dropped 7.42 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $2.9758 a gallon in New York, the lowest settlement since Feb. 10.

The national average retail price of unleaded regular gasoline in the U.S. fell 0.1 cent to $3.802 a gallon yesterday, according to a daily survey by AAA, the country’s largest motoring organization. That’s down from $3.936 on April 4.

Electronic trading volume of crude oil on the Nymex was 825,823 contracts as of 4:13 p.m. in New York. Volume totaled 678,769 contracts yesterday, 9.4 percent below the three-month average. Open interest was 1.61 million, the highest level since May 16, 2011.

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