Oil prices eased in Asian trade after chalking gains in recent sessions on growing confidence that the global economy was starting to recover from its slump,analysts said.
New York’s main contract,light sweet crude for September delivery,fell 42 cents to USD 67.96 a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for September delivery was down 34 cents to USD 70.47.
Analysts said the dip in crude prices in early trading should not be seen as a sign of waning investor confidence over the pace of the recovery in the US economy particularly.
The US is the world’s leading energy user.
Rather,data released Monday showing new US homes sales rising 11 per cent in June has further reinforced hopes that the world’s largest economy is displaying strong signs of rebounding from the recession.
“Data on economic activity was better than expected and showed improving trends in the global economy as US new home sales rose more than anticipated,” said Dariusz Kowalczyk,chief investment strategist with SJS Markets in Hong Kong.
Crude prices have gained about USD 10 in New York over the past two weeks,spurred by a string of strong earnings by top US firms as well as data suggesting the economy is recovering.