Singapore - Oil prices headed lower to near $83 a barrel on Tuesday in Asia as investor fears of a recession in developed countries sent equities and commodities lower.
Benchmark oil for October delivery was down $3.02 to $83.43 at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude last settled at $86.45 on Friday because US markets were closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday.
In London, Brent crude for October delivery was steady at $110.08 on the ICE Futures exchange.
European and Asian stock markets have sunk so far this week amid growing concern a debt crisis among countries using the euro common currency will undermine economic growth there and around the world.
A stagnant US jobs market is also hurting confidence. The Labour Department said on Friday that US employers stopped adding jobs in August and the unemployment rate remained at 9.1%.
"Bottom line, it's not unreasonable to suggest the US is in a jobs depression," energy consultant The Schork Group said in a report.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to announce new policy measures to spark job creation in a speech on Thursday.
In other Nymex trading for October contracts, heating oil fell 5.1 cents at $2.95 per gallon and gasoline futures dropped 6.1c at $2.78 per gallon. Natural gas for October delivery slid 0.4c to $3.87 per 1 000 cubic feet.