Oil plummets as dollar's jump, signs of slowing growth

August 8, 2008 1:55:52 PM PDT
Crude oil futures prices ended sharply lower on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The near-month contract for the benchmark grade fell $4.82 -- closing at $115.20 a barrel. Oil prices have resumed their steep plunge, dropping to a three-month low. A huge jump in the U.S. dollar and expectations of slowing global demand offset supply concerns over a sabotaged pipeline in Turkey.

Many analysts have pointed to $117-a-barrel as a technically significant threshhold for crude oil. They say it's a key resistance level that can trigger a rash of technical selling by computers, and that a move below that level suggests oil's slide is more than a brief pullback. Crude peaked at $147.27 on July 11th.

With oil losing its luster in the marketplace, the cost of gasoline has been creeping down, too. The average pump price for a gallon of gasoline has slipped to $3.836, down nearly 28 cents from the record high of $4.114 reached July 17th.