|NEW YORK - Oil fell to its lowest price in three months Friday, briefly touching the $111 level after the dollar muscled higher and OPEC predicted the world's thirst for fuel next year will fall to its lowest point since 2002.
Light, sweet crude for September delivery fell $1.24 to settle at $113.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after falling to $111.34, its lowest price since May 2 and more than $35 — or 24 percent — below its July 11 trading record above $147.
As high energy costs force countries around the globe to cut back on consumption, crude prices have plummeted and are now within striking distance of $100 a barrel, a level first reached Feb. 19.
At the pump, retail gas prices also continued falling, with a gallon of regular shedding about half a penny overnight to a new national average of $3.771, according to auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express. Gas peaked at $4.114 on July 17.
Crude fell after the dollar gained strength against the euro on U.S. data showing that industrial output rose more than expected in July. The 15-nation euro has lost some of its luster compared to its American rival amid growing evidence that European economies are slowing. The euro bought $1.4675 in trading Friday, down from $1.4811 late Thursday.