| GEO Business|
| Oil prices fall to 42 dollars|
| Updated at: 1849 PST, Friday, December 05, 2008|
LONDON: Oil prices fell to 42.01 dollars a barrel in trading here on Friday, the lowest level since January 2005, and were expected to slide further in the days ahead as energy demand wanes, analysts said.
Later on London's Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Brent recovered to stand at 42.96 dollars, up 68 cents from Thursday's close.
Light sweet crude for January climbed 70 cents to 44.37 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).
"The focus is well and truly on the weakness in consumption, and that doesn't seem likely to go away in the next 24 hours."
The key November non-farm payrolls and unemployment report is expected to show the loss of 325,000 jobs in the United States, the world's largest economy and biggest energy consumer.
The US, European Union, Japan and other economies are already in recession, and investors are worried about an increasingly marked decline in demand among the industrialised countries, and a slowdown in emerging countries such as China.
Oil prices have fallen by more than two thirds since reaching record high points above 147 dollars in July, pulled down by a widening global economic slowdown that weighs on demand.