Oil prices fall on US growth concerns


World oil prices fell by more than a dollar in Asian trade Monday amid fresh concerns energy demand would be affected by the slowing US economy, dealers said.

Concerns over the US economy, the biggest oil consumer, resurfaced after the OECD reduced its US growth forecasts for the first half of this year and said the world's largest economy was teetering on the brink of recession.

In morning trade, New York's main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, tumbled $1.41 to $100.43 per barrel.

The contract closed at $101.84 on Thursday, at one time sinking to below the $100 level. Markets were closed Friday for a public holiday.

London's Brent North Sea crude for May delivery fell $1.03 to $99.35 per barrel, after settling at $100.38 on Thursday.

"The $100 mark is going to be a support level and prices may congest around that level" as the market focuses on the weakening demand out of the US, said Tony Nunan, of Mitsubishi Corp's international petroleum business in Tokyo.
The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said the US economy was now expected to grow 0.1 per cent in the first quarter, down from the 0.3 per cent estimated in December, and would display zero growth in the second, compared with 0.4 per cent given previously. (AFP)