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World oil prices down in Asian trade

In this Sept. 10, 2012, photo gasoline prices are displayed at a Mobil station in Needham, Massachusetts. AP FILE PHOTO

SINGAPORE – Oil prices eased in Asian trade Monday, weighed down by a fall in regional equities and on lingering concerns over the eurozone debt crisis, analysts said.

New York’s benchmark contract, West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery, was down $1.01 to $91.88 a barrel in the morning, while Brent North Sea crude for November dipped 94 cents to $110.48.

Victor Shum, an analyst with Purvin and Gertz energy consultancy in Singapore, said the drop in the oil prices “is not surprising given that Asian stock markets are also coming down”.

He said differences between France and Germany on how to deal with the eurozone debt crisis remains a worry for investors.

“Concerns over Europe have caused some selling in Asian equities, and in connection to that also in oil futures,” he told AFP.

The leaders of Germany and France at a meeting on Saturday clashed over plans to monitor Europe’s crisis-hit banks.

Despite affirmations that European unity was the only way out of the debt turmoil, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande differed over a key plank of crisis-fighting: tighter checks on the European banking sector.

Shum also said comments by top crude producer Saudi Arabia that it will take steps to keep prices from rising too high should press down on prices.

“It looks like on the supply front there’s no need for worry,” he said.


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