Oil price slides under 72 dollars

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World oil prices slumped on Tuesday, with New York crude hitting an 11-week low under 72 dollars on rising concerns about a weak economic recovery, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for October delivery, dropped to 71.45 dollars -- the lowest since June 7.

It later pulled back slightly to stand at 72.06 dollars -- down 1.04 dollars compared with Monday's close.

Brent North Sea crude for October was down 1.01 dollars at 72.61 dollars a barrel in late London trade.

"The shaky global economy continues to put pressure on crude prices," said Victor Shum, analyst at Purvin and Gertz energy consultants.

Markets on Tuesday reacted to data showing that existing US home sales plunged a whopping 27.2 percent in July to levels unseen in more than a decade.

The White House described as "tough" the latest data tracking the housing sector, which was at the epicenter of the financial crisis, and vowed to do everything possible to keep the recovery on track.

Sales of single-family homes, town homes and condominiums dropped to a seasonally-adjusted 3.83 million units from a revised 5.26 million units in June, said the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The plunge was more than double the 12.1 percent expected by most economists.

Oil fell Monday on persistent worries that weakening growth in the United States, the world's biggest energy consumer, could curtail demand, traders said.


© 2010 AFP

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