Singapore: Oil prices fell below $105 per barrel in Asian trade Monday, off last week’s record levels amid fresh concerns over the US economy, the world’s biggest energy user, dealers said.
In early morning trade, New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for April delivery, fell 24 cents to $104.91from Friday’s close of 105.15 in New York.
The contract hit a new intra-day peak of $106.54 Friday.
But last Friday’s bleak US jobs report showed employers there cut 63,000 positions in February, marking the biggest monthly loss in nonfarm payrolls in five years and sparking new fears of a US recession.
“The strength of oil prices are not related to market fundamentals now, so the oil market is prone to corrections when more poor economic data comes out,” said Victor Shum, an analyst with energy consultancy Purvin and Gertz in Singapore.
“If more of such bad economic data comes out, it will weigh down on the oil market as it triggers investors to exit oil as fast as they came in,” he said.
London’s Brent North Sea crude for April delivery gained two cents to $102.40 per barrel.