Crude futures dropped $1.70, or 1.8%, to settle at $94.62 per barrel, marking the contract's lowest close in a week. The front-month contract was pressured lower by speculation that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is thinking about increasing their crude production at the cartel's upcoming meeting. The intraday low for the contract stands a full $1.08 lower than the closing price, as crude dropped as far as $93.54 per barrel in electronic trading.
Elsewhere, December-dated gold dropped $27 today, finishing at $807.70 an ounce. The commodity's 3.2% drop was exceeded by silver, which shed 5%. One analyst noted that global risk aversion and fears of further write-downs from subprime losses this week, along with a 4% decline in China's market to start the week off, have all driven the metals and currency markets in strong counter-trend fashion. Helping to further gold's decline, the U.S. dollar gained against most of its foreign counterparts. The front-month silver contract slipped 5%, or 78.30 cents, to $14.762 an ounce. Copper also closed lower today.