Oil retreats but stays above $130
World oil prices retreated but stayed above $130 in Asian trade on Thursday, amid growing jitters about falling US gasoline consumption spooked by skyrocketing pump prices, dealers said.
New York's main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, fell 77 cents to 130.26 dollars per barrel.
The benchmark contract shot up 2.18 dollars to close at 131.03 dollars yesterday at the New York Mercantile Exchange.
London's Brent North Sea crude for July delivery slid 80 cents to 130.13 dollars a barrel, after settling at 130.93 dollars today. The contract had rallied 2.62 dollars at the close.
Values struck records above 135 dollars late last week.
Tony Nunan, of Mitsubishi Corp's international petroleum business in Tokyo, said the retreat was due to "regular volatility", sparked by news of lower gasoline demand in the US, the world's largest oil-consuming nation.
"Oil prices are getting to levels where they are starting to affect demand negatively," he said.
Traders were looking ahead to the weekly report on US energy stockpiles due later today, after a public holiday in the United States on Monday.