Plummeting Crude Futures Pull Down Markets, Boost Dollar

Benchmark crude (NYSE:USO) for August delivery is now down to $90.85 a barrel, its lowest level since February, after yesterday’s IEA decision to release oil reserves. The announcement weighed on energy stocks yesterday, keeping markets down as big oil shares dropped. And today the news continues to affect markets, with dropping crude oil futures erasing gains made today in Asian and European markets.

Despite reports that Greece’s newest austerity package has been approved by the EU and IMF, which offers some encouragement for future global growth outlook, the dollar still made gains (NYSE:UUP) against the euro, hurting the day’s trade session in Europe while putting pressure on commodities priced in dollars. Check Out: Here’s How Euro Leaders Intend to Save Greece.

Asian stocks ultimately got a bit of a boost, though, rallying late in the day Friday as airline shares jumped at the expectation of lower fuel costs. Across the world, companies that have been affected by the higher cost of transportation this year are witnessing rebounding stocks as they project decreased input costs.

While the IEA’s news Thursday had a huge global economic impact, it’s not the only news affecting markets. Today’s revised GDP report shows that U.S. orders of durable goods in May rose more than expected, the first good economic data for the country in a while. Still, while Americans might be happy with lower prices at the pump, the release of oil reserves has pushed down stocks for some of the biggest stock market players, keeping the major indices slightly in the red despite moderate gains to different sectors.

BONUS: GDP Report: Your Cheat Sheet to the First Quarter.