Oil prices slip before key US data

7th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

World oil prices fell in cautious trade on Friday as traders eagerly awaited crucial payrolls data in leading crude consumer the United States, with sentiment clouded by the eurozone debt crisis.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude oil for delivery in November slid 36 cents to $82.23 a barrel, a day after surging by four dollars.

Brent North Sea crude for November dipped 74 cents to $104.99 in late morning London trade.

Markets were cautious ahead of the release by the US Labor Department of key employment data, with investors looking for indications of the health of the world's biggest economy and oil consumer.

The outlook however appears gloomy, with economists expecting the report to say unemployment is still jammed at a painfully high 9.1 percent in September.

Crude futures had rallied sharply on Thursday after the European Central Bank announced measures to help cash-strapped banks in the eurozone under pressure from the public debt crises in Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

But market sentiment remains extremely nervous amid uncertainty surrounding the outlook for global energy demand, analysts said.

"The economic outlook in Europe and US remains uncertain," said Victor Shum, a Singapore-based analyst with energy consultancy Purvin and Gertz.

© 2011 AFP

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