Crude oil down in Asia as US GDP slumps

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Asian trade
Singapore, April 29: Crude prices fell in Asian trade today (April 29) as first-quarter GDP in the United States slumped and rising jobless claims in the world's largest oil consumer depressed markets, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in June, fell 45 cents to USD 112.41 per barrel. London's Brent North Sea crude for June delivery dipped 17 cents to USD 124.85.

"I think worse-than-expected overnight economic news from the US is pressurising the market right now," said Serene Lim, oil and gas analyst at ANZ bank in Singapore.

US growth slowed to an annual pace of 1.8 per cent in the January-March quarter, compared with a robust 3.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010, the Commerce Department said in its first estimate for the period.

"That, probably plus the higher-than-expected jobless claims in the US, is weighing on the market," Lim told AFP.

The US Labor Department said claims for unemployment insurance benefits surged more than expected last week to the highest level since January: a seasonally adjusted 429,000, up from the prior week's 404,000.

In addition, figures showed 8.8 per cent of workers remaining jobless in March, underscoring the frailty of the US economic recovery. 

AFP

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