Oil prices lower on concerns over Greece

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Oil driller
Singapore, Feb 10: Oil prices were lower in Asian trade today as a bailout deal for debt-strapped Greece was once again put off, analysts said.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for delivery in March, shed 42 cents to $98.42 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for March was down 19 cents to $118.40 in morning trade.

"Prices have dipped... On news that the Greek bailout deal is once again delayed," said Victor Shum, senior principal at Purvin and Gertz international energy consultants in Singapore. "There still isn't sufficient confidence in the euro zone that the austerity measures taken by Greece will hold up," he told AFP.

Eurozone finance ministers yesterday postponed a decision on a new bailout to save Greece from bankruptcy, giving Athens less than a week to meet three new conditions in return for aid.

The demands include additional structural spending cuts of 325 million euros ($432 million) for 2012, a written pledge from coalition leaders that they would implement austerity measures and an endorsement of the austerity measures by the Greek parliament.

Greek political leaders had reached a last-minute deal Thursday on new austerity measures demanded by international lenders in return for the 130-billion-euro ($171 billion) bailout it urgently needs to avoid defaulting on payments due to bond holders on March 20.

AFP

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