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Oil prices extend losses on economic concerns: analysts

Oil prices extend losses on economic concerns: analysts

Oil slipped further in Asian trade yesterday as investors continued to worry over the state of the U.S. economy, the world's biggest energy user, analysts said.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for August delivery dropped US$0.70 to US$68.46 a barrel while Brent North Sea crude for August delivery sank US$0.68 to US$68.24. Both contracts closed lower Friday.
"Oil pricing is under pressure from concerns regarding the weak oil demand in the U.S.," said Victor Shum, a Singapore-based analyst with energy consultancy Purvin and Gertz.
Crude fell at the end of last week during U.S. trading hours after official data released Friday showed spending by American consumers rose a weak 0.3 percent in May from April, supported mainly by a massive government stimulus.
Personal savings rate shot up to a 16-year high, indicating consumers were wary of spending amid rising unemployment and plummeting home values, the data showed.
The report by the Commerce Department is widely watched because consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of U.S. economic activity and is considered key to recovery from the severe recession that began in December 2007.
Crude prices have spiked up in recent weeks, boosted in part by the weak U.S. dollar which means lower oil cost for purchasers using foreign currencies.
New unrest in oil-producing Nigeria was another factor which saw crude prices rising above US$71 at one stage during intra-day trading Friday, analysts said.


Updated : 2021-07-31 04:20 GMT+08:00