Oil prices fell sharply in Asian trade yesterday, with investors still worried over the debt crisis in the Eurozone and the weak US economy.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in October, was down $1.32 (Dh4.84) to $86.64 a barrel in afternoon trade and Brent North Sea crude for November slipped 78 cents to $111.44 a barrel.
"It's fresh economic jitters again because the market is focused once more on the sovereign debt problems in Europe," said Vandana Hari, the editorial director for Asia at Platts. "The EU is imposing fresh conditions on Greece to adopt new austerity measures if it is to continue getting bailout funds."
Last week, Eurozone fin-ance ministers meeting in Poland decided to delay until October a decision on €8 billion (Dh40.5 billion) of bailout loans blocked until Greece persuades auditors it is on track to cut its deficit.
US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who attended the meeting, and his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble also disagreed over Europe's handling of the debt crisis.
Any discord could affect attempts to mount coordinated action to deal with the crisis before it gets out of hand and batters the global financial system further, analysts said.
Hari said investors were also setting their sights on an expected announcement by US President Barack Obama on spending cuts, which could crimp demand in the world's biggest oil-consuming nation.