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Oil trading below $61

business Updated: Jul 10, 2009 10:31 IST

Oil traded below USD 61 in Asian trade today, surrendering overnight gains amid persistent worries over the weak global economy, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for August delivery was 33 cents lower at USD 60.08 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for August delivery eased 30 cents to USD 60.80.

New York crude tumbled below the USD 60 mark in intra-day trade yesterday, the first time since May 26. The contract has lost more than USD 13 from its highs last month.

"When we take a step back, the correction doesn't surprise us," said Gavin Wendt, a Sydney-based mining and resources analyst with Fat Prophets research consultancy.

Crude prices rose above USD 73 early last month, up more than 60 per cent since the start of the year, fuelled partly by a weak US dollar and overly upbeat hopes of a recovery in the global economy, analysts said.

"The demand-supply situation doesn't justify that sort of a rapid rise over such a short period of time," said Wendt.

"It left itself vulnerable to some degree of correction especially when the demand situation hasn't justified that sort of price rise."

A weekly energy reserves report released Wednesday by the US Department of Energy is also weighing down on crude prices as gasoline stocks rose by a bigger-than-expected 1.9 million barrels in the week to July 3.