NEW YORK - Oil prices slipped yesterday as investors questioned whether the country would regain its appetite for petroleum. Benchmark crude for December delivery gave up 78 cents to settle at $79.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude for December delivery fell 90 cents to settle at $77.99.
Economists, including those at Cambridge Energy Research Associates, have predicted world energy demand will continue to slide as automakers build cars with better mileage and countries embrace alternative fuels.
Oil prices had increased for several months, primarily tracking the decline in the dollar. Crude barrels are priced in US currency. But concerns about large petroleum surpluses and poor consumer demand have raised doubts about how high oil can go.