Oil prices down in Asia on US debt fears

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jul 29 2011 11:25 AM | Updated as of Jul 29 2011 07:25 PM

SINGAPORE - The US debt stalemate continued to roil crude markets in Asian trade Friday as a vote in the House of Representatives on a Republican debt plan was postponed.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in September, fell 22 cents to $97.22 per barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for September delivery shed four cents to $117.32.

"Investors continued to worry about the stalled US debt talks," Phillip Futures said in a report.

US politicians were still wrangling over a compromise deal to stave off a debt default on August 2, with Republican lawmakers challenging their Democratic counterparts to vote for their debt plan on Thursday.

However, in a sign that the plan could not garner enough support even within their own party, the vote originally scheduled for the House of Representatives on Thursday was postponed.

The House was forced to recess while House Speaker John Boehner met one by one with Republican lawmakers to shore up support for his two-step plan to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling enough to avert default for at least six months.

With five days to go until the default deadline when the Treasury says it will run out of funds, IMF chief Christine Lagarde also piled on the pressure for a deal saying the dollar's status could be in doubt if the impasse continues.