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Oil prices dive in Asian trade

business Updated: Apr 08, 2009 12:19 IST

Oil prices fell in Asian trade today after concerns over weak corporate earnings sent global stock markets tumbling, analysts said. New York’s main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, slid 91 cents to USD 48.24 a barrel after falling below the USD 50 mark at the close of US trade on Tuesday.

Brent North Sea crude for May delivery shed 60 cents to $50.62.A weak showing on Wall Street and a stronger US dollar were among the factors pulling energy prices down, analysts said.“When equities are weak and the dollar firm, this market has nowhere to hide,” said Peter Beutel, president of US energy consultancy Cameron Hanover in a note to clients.

A strengthening dollar makes dollar-priced crude more expensive for buyers using other currencies and therefore tends to dampen demand.Traders also expect more bad news as the US corporate earnings season gets under way, with concerns high about the troubled banking sector.“The quarterly corporate earnings reports that will be issued in coming days will probably not contain much to applaud,” said Mike Fitzpatrick, an analyst at MF Global.