* German Ifo index falls for fifth month in a row
* Nigerian oil exports to hit 6-month peak in November
* Iran, Israel sabre-rattling keeps markets on edge
* Coming up: API oil data 4:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday
(Adds details on poll of analysts for weekly US inventory data,
final two paragraphs)
By Robert Gibbons
NEW YORK, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Oil prices fell more than 1
percent on Monday, dragged by disappointing German economic
data that reinforced concerns about the global economy and the
outlook for fuel demand.
German business sentiment dropped in September for the fifth
straight month, raising fears of recession as companies
struggled with what an economist for the Munich-based Ifo
institute called the worst economic outlook since
Oil markets have been balancing the fragile economic outlook
against output problems in the North Sea the possibility
geopolitical instability could hit production in recent weeks.
The weak data from Europe's biggest economy came as traders
considered the impact of a third round of quantitative easing
announced by the U.S. Federal Reserve this month. Prior rounds
of stimulus have pushed investors into riskier asset classes,
"Ever since the Fed announced QE3, the market has started
to come under pressure as the stimulus seems to not be the
juggernaut people thought it would be beforehand." said Gene
McGillian, analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.
He said data from Germany and worries about growth in China --
the world's No. 2 oil consumer -- added to pressure on Monday.
Brent November crude fell $1.61 to settle at $109.81
a barrel having dropped as low as $108.78. Support could be
tested Brent's six-week low of $107.10 hit last Thursday and
below that at the 100-day moving average of $106.38 if the slide
U.S. November crude retreated 96 cents to settle at
$91.93 a barrel, after dipping as low as $91.06.
As Brent fell more sharply that U.S. futures, the
international benchmark's premium to U.S. crude
below $18 a barrel.
In the final week of September, Brent is on pace to post a
12 percent third-quarter gain after a 20.4 percent
second-quarter plunge. U.S. crude is on track for an 8 percent
gain, after dropping 17.5 percent in the second quarter.
The day's total crude futures trading volumes were tepid,
with Brent dealings outpacing U.S. crude volume, as turnover for
both lagged their 30-day averages.
U.S. October heating oil and RBOB gasoline
futures settled almost 1 percent lower. The October contracts
expire on Friday.
U.S. equities extended last week's decline on the weak
German data and the concerns about the euro zone, which also
weighed on the wider commodity complex.
Oil markets have been closely watching the ongoing standoff
between Iran and the West over Tehran's nuclear program and the
impact on oil supplies.
On Monday, Washington tightened sanctions aimed at curbing
the OPEC member country's nuclear ambitions, linking Iran's
state oil company to its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The
move will allow apply new sanctions on foreign banks dealing
with the company.
As world leaders gathered at the United Nations in New York
ahead of the annual General Assembly, Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad declared that Israel has no roots in the Middle East
and would be "eliminated."
In addition, oil markets have been watching delays in North
Sea crude loadings due to seasonal maintenance.
Countering concerns about supply interruptions elsewhere,
Nigeria's crude oil exports are expected to hit a six-month high
in November as almost all its oil fields pump near recent peak
levels, provisional loading programs showed.
Traders were also awaiting weekly U.S. inventory data from
the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Energy Information
Administration for the latest update of stockpiles in the
world's top energy consumer, due out on Tuesday and Wednesday,
A Reuters poll of analysts released Monday forecast a 1.4
million barrel build in crude inventories for the week to Sept.
21, with gasoline and distillate stockpiles also expected to
show modest increases.
(Additional reporting by Adam Kerlin in New York; Christopher
Johnson in London and Ramya Venugopal in Singapore; Editing by
David Gregorio, Sofina Mirza-Reid, Steve Orlofsky, Gary Hill)
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