Oil eases from record highs

SINGAPORE, March 18, 2008 (AFP) – Oil prices retreated from record highs of almost 112 dollars in Asian trading Tuesday on worries energy demand would be affected by the financial market turbulence in the United States, dealers said. “The market could become even more vulnerable to selling due to the deteriorating economic conditions, as well,” he said.

The United States is the world’s biggest energy user.

In morning trade, New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for April delivery was at 106.10 dollars a barrel, off almost six dollars from its all-time high of 111.80 dollars struck on Monday.

The contract closed Monday at 105.68 dollars during floor trading at the New York Mercantile Exchange.

London’s Brent North Sea crude for May delivery was 33 cents higher at 102.08 dollars a barrel.

The sharp retreat in New York oil prices from record highs of almost 112 dollars reflect deepening concerns the US financial market turmoil will pressure an already wobbly economy which in turn will affect energy demand, dealers said.

David Moore, a commodity strategist with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said “concerns over stresses in the international financial system and the related risk of a US recession”