Oil prices drop to $103; investors gauge effect on economy
NEW YORK Oil prices are dropping with investors trying to gauge how much a recent surge in fuel prices has impacted a recovering, yet fragile economy. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate for April delivery fell $1.20 to $103.18 per barrel Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude lost $1.15 to $114.79 per barrel.So far, prices haven't slowed consumption, but economist Michael Lynch warns that motorists and businesses may start cutting back if oil remains above the $100 per barrel level. The jump in oil has already pushed up the average price for gas in the United States by 46 cents a gallon, with many laid off workers just returning to a daily commute.