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January 30th, 2005 - 11:20 pm

The oil markets seem happy with yesterday’s Iraqi election:

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) — Crude oil futures fell, extending last week’s 2.8 percent decline, after insurgents failed to sabotage the Iraqi election, easing concern they may attack export facilities in the Middle East’s fifth-largest producer.

OPEC may raise output in the second quarter, President Sheikh Ahmad Fahd al-Ahmad al-Sabah said yesterday after the group agreed to leave production targets unchanged. In Iraq, “current indications” are that the election was a success and that “augurs well for the transition process,” United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said, according to the UN Web site.

“There’s room for oil to go down a bit further,” Randy Simpson, vice-president of supply and trading at New West Petroleum Inc. in Sacramento, California, said before the start of trading. “The general consensus was that things were going to go to plan in Iraq, or at least with a bit less mayhem.”

It’ll be interseting to see what (if any) reaction the US equities markets have tomorrow.

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