Crude oil declined for a second day in New York as sliding U.S. equity markets heightened speculation OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) will increase output to cap prices and reinforce global demand.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped to a 14-week low yesterday on signs shoppers in the world's largest oil consumer are cutting spending. Saudi Arabia, considered the biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is pumping more than 9 million barrels a day, reported CNBC.

Crude oil for January delivery decreased as much as 85 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $96.85 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the NYME (New York Mercantile Exchange).

The contract fell 48 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $97.70 a barrel yesterday, after earlier reaching $99.11. It reached $99.29 on Nov. 21, the highest since trading began in 1983.

The National Retail Federation is forecasting the slowest increase in U.S. holiday season sales in five years, after a survey showed shoppers spent 3.5 percent less per person at Thanksgiving weekend. About 147 million customers visited shops, 4.8 percent more than a year earlier.

OPEC Output

As the country enters the winter period, OPEC has agreed to increase production by 500,000 barrels a day staring on Nov 1.

Those nations pumped 27.14 million barrels a day last month, out of a group total of 31.16 million, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts and producers.

Brent crude oil for January settlement declined 44 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $95.32 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange yesterday. Brent earlier reached $96.65, the highest since trading began in 1988.

OPEC will review its production quotas at a meeting in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 5.