Oil falls in Asian trade on US recovery concerns

Agence France Presse

Posted at Aug 31 2010 10:50 AM | Updated as of Aug 31 2010 06:50 PM

SINGAPORE - Oil prices fell in Asian trade Tuesday as traders fretted about the state of the US economic recovery ahead of the release of key market data this week, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in October, shed 42 cents to $74.28  a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for October delivery slipped 47 cents to $76.13.

The slide in crude prices was "reflecting general concerns on the US recovery", said the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) in a report.

Trader sentiment was battered late Monday by a report from the US Commerce Department, which showed that personal incomes rose just 0.2% in July in the US, less than the predicted gain of 0.3%.

Markets were also awaiting key US economic data due to be released this week, including industrial manufacturing numbers on Wednesday and key employment figures on Friday, both expected to indicate an economic slowdown.

On the Asian front, the CBA added that a hike in Kazakhstan's oil export tax was also denting trader enthusiasm.

"Kazakhstan, central Asia’s largest oil producer, is looking to double its oil export tax to $40 per metric ton next year," it stated.