Crude down in Asia on Europe, China concerns

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Mar 5, 2010
SINGAPORE: Crude dived in Asian trade Friday as traders remained sceptical of economic prospects in Asian powerhouse China and debt-laden Europe, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in January, fell eight cents to $93.79 per barrel. Brent North Sea crude for February delivery shed 65 cents to $103.60 on its first trading day.

"Crude fell... as investors remained cautious about prospects for economic growth in Europe and China," said Ker Chung Yang, commodity analyst Phillip Futures in Singapore.

Despite a successful Spanish bond issue on Thursday which sent European shares and the euro higher overnight, doubts still lingered over the eurozone's ability to recover from its debt crisis.

Worries over the eurozone's economic health as well as the moribund US economy also spilled over to China, which saw its manufacturing activity decline and foreign direct investment fall for the first time in 28 months.

A senior Chinese government researcher forecast Beijing's exports growth would halve in 2012 from this year, pulling the pace of economic expansion below nine percent for the first time in more than a decade.

China is the world's largest energy consumer and a hit to its economy will have serious ramifications for the oil industry. (AFP)