Oil mixed in Asian trade amid demand worries

Agence France Presse

Posted at Aug 11 2010 11:45 AM | Updated as of Aug 11 2010 07:45 PM

SINGAPORE - Oil was mixed in Asian trade Wednesday amid worries that the US economy was slowing down and slack Chinese demand, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in September rose eight cents to $80.33 dollars per barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in September sank 31 cents to $79.29 dollars.

"I think we are still seeing a bit of weakness from last night's sell-off," said Ong Yi Ling, an investment analyst with Singapore-based Phillip Futures financial institution.

"People are worried about the fuel demand in the US and the global economic outlook," she said.

Crude prices closed lower Tuesday as the US Federal Reserve's policy-making body promised more stimulus spending to prop up the world's largest economy amid signs that its recovery from the global downturn has lost steam.

"The pace of recovery in output and employment has slowed in recent months," the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement, downgrading its assessment of the health of the US economy.

"The pace of economic recovery is likely to be more modest in the near term than had been anticipated," the 10-member committee said.

Analysts said aside from the easing US economic growth, fresh data showing a slackening of China's imports was keeping markets on edge.

"With a stagnant US economy, the commodity bulls are looking to emerging markets for growth," analysts at BMO Capital Markets said in a report.

"They got a wake-up call though Tuesday when China reported a decline in imports during July on weaker demand."