| GEO Business|
Oil down in Asian trade
| Updated at: 0810 PST, Friday, September 03, 2010|
SINGAPORE: Oil prices fell below 75 dollars in Asian trade as traders took profit from gains made the previous day and braced for an expected weak US employment numbers, analysts said.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for October delivery, fell 26 cents to 74.76 dollars a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for October delivery, shed 35 cents to 76.58 dollars.
Traders were taking profit from a hike in crude prices on Thursday ahead of the release of the monthly US jobs report later Friday, said Victor Shum, senior principal of Purvin and Gertz energy consultants in Singapore.
"I think that given the rise in pricing yesterday... we are seeing some pullback due to the next big economic report that's going to come out of the US, which is the jobs report," he said.
Shum added that there were "concerns" that the report would highlight the flagging state of the US economic recovery.
The US Labor Department is widely expected by analysts to report non-farm payrolls -- combining both government and private jobs -- to shrink by 120,000 in August, with unemployment edging up to 9.6 percent from 9.5 percent rate.
Shum said the disruption of Americans' vacation plans in the last week of the summer driving season due to Hurricane Earl, which was bearing down on the US East Coast, would also weigh down crude markets.