Oil falls from two-week high after Obama wins election

Oil fell from a two-week high in New York after President Barack Obama won re-election and as Greece prepared to vote on austerity measures.

Futures slid as much as 2.9 percent after Obama defeated Republican Mitt Romney. He now faces negotiating with Congress to avoid more than $600 billion in mandated tax gains and spending cuts. Greece’s parliament votes today on a package to unlock bailout funds. A report today will show that U.S. crude supply rose last week, according to a Bloomberg survey.

“With the election over we can look ahead to other issues,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts. “The focus will be on the fiscal cliff and Europe, neither of which is cause for celebration.”

Crude oil for December delivery fell $2.24, or 2.5 percent, to $86.47 a barrel at 9:44 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract surged $3.06 yesterday to $88.71, the highest settlement since Oct. 22. Prices have declined 13 percent this year.

Brent for December settlement decreased $2.02, or 1.8 percent, to $109.05 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $22.58 to New York-traded West Texas Intermediate, up from $22.36 yesterday.

While Obama received at least 303 electoral votes to Romney’s 206, Republicans kept a majority in the House of Representatives. Democrats retained control of the Senate.

Greek Package

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras seeks parliamentary approval today for budget cuts to unlock bailout funds amid the third general strike in six weeks.

The 238 pages of austerity measures range from raising the retirement age two years to 67 to eliminating Christmas and holiday payments for pensioners. Approval of the legislation is the first of the votes required by Nov. 12 to unlock a 31 billion-euro ($40 billion) package of international aid.

U.S. crude inventories probably rose 2 million barrels to 375 million last week as Hurricane Sandy shut refineries on the East Coast, according to a Bloomberg News survey before an Energy Department report today. Gasoline stockpiles fell by 1.5 million barrels. Supplies of distillates, a category that includes diesel and heating oil, declined 1.25 million, the median estimate of 11 analysts showed.

The department is scheduled to release its inventory report at 10:30 a.m. in Washington.

Bloomberg News

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