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Oil falls in Asian trade on US economic concerns

Oil fell further during Asian trade on Friday as investors continued to fret about the state of the US economy where the jobless rate has surged to a 26-year high, analysts said.

business Updated: Jul 03, 2009 11:35 IST

Oil fell further during Asian trade on Friday as investors continued to fret about the state of the US economy where the jobless rate has surged to a 26-year high, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for August delivery, eased 38 cents to $66.35 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for August delivery sank 57 cents to $66.08.

“The US employment report was a negative for the oil price,” said David Moore, a Sydney-based commodity analyst with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Data released on Thursday showed US job losses surged to 467,000 in June, pushing the unemployment rate to a 26-year high of 9.5 per cent.

The latest report, seen as one of the best indicators of economic momentum, reversed the improvement seen last month when job losses fell to a revised 322,000.

Since the recession began in the United States in December 2007, the world’s biggest economy and also the biggest energy user has lost 6.5 million jobs and the jobless rate has risen 4.6 percentage points.

“Risk aversion returned with a vengeance on Thursday after a disappointing US labour market report for June,” said Dariusz Kowalczyk, chief investment strategist with SJS Markets trading firm.