Oil prices tumble from record heights

NEW YORK, May 27, 2008 (AFP) – Oil prices tumbled further from recent record peaks Tuesday as traders sold off positions amid growing fears about energy US energy demand, analysts said. They said a report showing a slump in US consumer confidence, marking the largest such fall in 16 years, and a separate survey showing the housing market remains in a rut triggered fresh concerns that the US economy will slow markedly.

If US economic growth slows further it could be expected to weaken energy demand, particularly oil demand, according to analysts.

New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, dived 3.34 dollars to close at 128.85 dollars a barrel as demand concerns spiked.

Prices in London fell more sharply as a key futures contract, Brent North Sea crude for July, settled 4.06 dollars lower at 128.31 dollars.

The price falls came after Brent had struck an all-time high of 135.14 dollars and New York crude reached a record 135.09 dollars on Thursday amid concerns about tight supplies and strong demand.

“We’ve seen a steep sell-off since the release of weak US housing data today and the opening in New York,” said Bache Commodities analy