Oil prices slide after poor US data

17th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Oil prices slumped in volatile trading Tuesday, as more disappointing US economic data heightened concerns over weak global energy demand.

Prices were also hit by a stronger dollar, which makes crude more expensive for holders of other currencies, dampening demand, traders said.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in July slid $2.10 to $108.75 in late London deals after rising above $111 early in the day.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for June, dropped $1.72 to $95.65 a barrel. Despite the downturn, prices remain at historically-high levels.

"The market certainly remains concerned over potential demand destruction amid elevated prices during a fairly fragile recovery," said Andrey Kryuchenkov, commodities analyst at financial group VTB Capital.

Official data published Tuesday showed home construction in the United States plunged in April, underscoring the depth of the years-old housing crisis. The United States is the world's biggest consumer of oil.

Housing starts tumbled 10.6 percent from March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 523,000, the Commerce Department announced.

The number widely missed the average analyst estimate of 563,000.

© 2011 AFP

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