| GEO Business|
| Oil hovers around 76 dollars in Asian trade|
| Updated at: 0915 PST, Friday, July 16, 2010|
SINGAPORE: Oil hovered around 76 dollars in volatile Asian trade Friday on weak economic data which dampened hopes for a swift US rebound from recession.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in August, was down nine cents to 76.53 dollars a barrel in morning trade. Brent North Sea crude for September delivery added seven cents to 76.02 dollars.
"Some economic data in the United States are signalling slower economic growth and that has put a lid on any price rally," said Victor Shum, an analyst with energy consultancy Purvin and Gertz in Singapore.
Doubts about the strength of the US recovery were fuelled by reports Thursday that manufacturing activity in the state of New York and in the Philadelphia region was weaker than expected this month.
The strength of the economic rebound in the United States is being closely watched by investors because it consumes more energy than any other country in the world.
Shum told media concerns over the US economy were weighing down on Asian stocks Friday and the sentiment was likely to spill over into the oil market.
"I see some downward pressure from the Asian equities markets... I don't think we're going to see a whole lot of gains in oil," he added.
Oil prices are likely to trade between 70 and 80 dollars a barrel for some time, Shum said.
"There is really no big driver to cause oil to break out of this range," he said.