Oil prices extend losses on US concerns

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World oil prices drifted down on Wednesday, extending recent falls caused by concerns about the strength of US economic recovery, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for August delivery, slipped by 27 cents to 71.71 dollars per barrel.

Brent North Sea crude, also for August delivery, also dropped 27 cents to 71.18 dollars.

Crude oil had fallen for the seventh session running on Tuesday, after hitting one-month intra-day lows on the back of widespread fears that the US economic recovery could stall.

"Oil markets continued on the downward trajectory seen for the duration of last week and earlier this week," said analysts at energy consultancy John Hall Associates.

"Ongoing weak economic signals continue to impact market sentiment, with the surplus of supply over demand showing few signs of dissipating."

The market sank Tuesday on a steeper-than-expected fall in the US Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index.

The index declined to 53.8 points last month from 55.4 in May. Most economists had expected the June figure to be 55.0.

© 2010 AFP

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