NEW YORK, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- U.S. crude prices fell on Thursday for a second consecutive day as concerns over Hurricane Isaac faded.
U.S. crude futures dropped sharply as Isaac weakened to a tropical storm after hitting Louisiana. Nearly all the oil production and about two thirds of natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico were shut down because of the storm.
Analysts expected that production could quickly resume after the storm moved further inland. Reports said of all the oil facilities, only one refinery was flooded.
Investors were still awaiting the widely-anticipated speech of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke scheduled for Friday. Analysts said disappointment or hints on another round of quantitative easing could easily lead to market volatility.
Brent crude gained support amid lingering supply concerns over a possible strike by Norway's oil workers, a decline in North Sea oil production due to maintenance and the dispute over Iran's nuclear program.
According to a report issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran was preparing for a possible major expansion of uranium enrichment.
On the economic front, U.S. consumer spending rose 0.4 percent in July, the best performance in five months. And initial jobless claims remained unchanged last week.
Light, sweet crude for October delivery lost 87 cents, or 0.91 percent, to settle at 94.62 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. But in London, Brent crude for October delivery edged up 11 cents, or 0.10 percent, to close at 112.65 dollars a barrel.