Oil slips on US, eurozone fears

2011-10-07 08:25

Singapore - Oil was down in Asian trade on Friday with analysts saying the market remains weighed by concerns over the health of the US economy and a debt crisis in the eurozone.

Markets were cautious ahead of the release by the US Labor Department of key employment data, with investors looking for indications of the health of the world's biggest economy and oil consumer.

The outlook however appears gloomy, with economists expecting the report to say unemployment is still jammed at a painfully high 9.1% in September.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for November delivery was down two cents to $82.57 a barrel in volatile afternoon Asian trade.

Brent North Sea crude for November was down four cents to $105.69.

"Oil prices remain under pressure and are likely to continue to grind lower over the fourth quarter as the risk of North Atlantic recession weighs," Credit Suisse said in a market commentary.

Crude prices had rallied for a second straight day in New York on Thursday after the European Central Bank announced measures to help cash-strapped banks in the eurozone under pressure from the public debt crises in Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

But the gains were short-lived as traders quickly sold for profit amid the shaky economic environment.

"The economic outlook in Europe and US remains uncertain," said Victor Shum, a Singapore-based analyst with energy consultancy Purvin and Gertz.