Oil prices fall in Asian trade

SINGAPORE, July 19, 2010 (AFP) – Oil prices dipped in Asian trade Monday as sentiment was dampened by weak US economic data that spurred concerns of slow demand in the world’s largest energy consumer, analysts said. “There is still some negative sentiment, but at the moment (the price) hasn’t fallen precipitously. Given the data flow, the oil price has certainly proved to be relatively resilient,” Moore said. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in August shed 30 cents to 75.71 dollars a barrel while Brent North Sea crude for September delivery was 28 cents off at 75.09 dollars.

“Oil prices have come off somewhat and the US economic data released (last week) was a little bit on the soft side,” said David Moore, a Sydney-based commodity strategist with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

“That certainly is a factor that is acting to dent the oil price at present.”

Economic reports released Friday renewed concerns about the US economic recovery after the University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index dropped almost 10 points — far steeper than forecast — to 66.5 in July.

A government report showed inflation remained tame, in line with expectations as the fragile recov