| GEO Business|
| Oil fell below $77 in Asian trade|
| Updated at: 0936 PST, Thursday, February 18, 2010|
SINGAPORE: Oil fell below 77 dollars a barrel in Asian trade Thursday after recent sharp gains as demand concerns and a stronger dollar weighed on the market.
New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in March, was down 43 cents to 76.90 dollars a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for April delivery declined 31 cents to 75.96 dollars a barrel.
Analysts said prices were impacted by the American Petroleum Institute's oil inventory report Wednesday indicating a weakness in US demand. The report showed a surprise rise in middle distillate stocks of heating oil and diesel.