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Oil prices fall amid disaster in Japan


The price of oil fell Friday as the largest earthquake ever recorded in Japan’s history killed hundreds of people, MarketWatch reported.

The earthquake, which triggered a 10-meter-high tsunami and forced evacuations on the West Coast, diverted attention from the political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa that poses a threat to oil production in those regions.

Crude-oil futures held just above $100 a barrel.

“There will be an impact on power consumption,” said analysts with JPMorgan Chase & Co., in a note to clients. “Oil could see increased demand for power use, and outages have been reported at several refineries.”

Japan also shut down operations at nuclear-power plants, MarketWatch reported.

The oil market had braced for a so-called “Day of Rage” in Saudi Arabia on Friday, but large protests or clashes failed to take place.

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