| GEO Business|
| Oil prices fall on eurozone, US concerns|
| Updated at: 0300 PST, Saturday, May 22, 2010|
NEW YORK: Oil prices slid Friday after heavy weekly losses on concerns over the European debt crisis, the sustainability of the US economic recovery and the strengthening dollar.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in July, fell 76 cents to end at 70.04 dollars a barrel. The June contract expired Thursday at 68.01 dollars.
London's Brent North Sea crude for July dipped 16 cents to 71.68 dollars a barrel.
"The market tried to stabilize but started slipping again at the end of the day. Nothing changed, the trend is still down, until proven otherwise," said analyst Tom Bentz at BNP Paribas.
"We need a stabilization in all markets," he said, noting that while stock markets were slowly recovering, more positive economic news "could turn things around.
"But now the sentiment is still bearish."
Oil dived on Thursday to near 10-month lows as stock markets slumped on eurozone debt crisis concerns and amid bearish economic data in the United States, the world's biggest energy consumer.
New York crude fell as low as 64.24 dollars, its lowest level since July 30, 2009, while Brent oil hit 70.20 dollars, a level last seen in early February.
The biggest equities drop in more than a year in New York Thursday also triggered fresh turmoil in Asia and Europe amid mounting anxiety about the global economic outlook.
US stocks rebounded Friday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 125.91 points or 1.25 percent to 10,193.92 at the market close, snapping a three-session losing streak.
"Concerns over the outlook for Europe continued to buffet markets," analysts from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia said in a client note.
"Oil market sentiment is still being depressed by concerns over European growth," they said.
Long-term concerns about the sustainability of the US recovery resurfaced after the Labor Department said Thursday that initial unemployment insurance claims posted the biggest increase in five weeks.