6 Jun 2009

Oil prices fall

10:59 am on 6 June 2009

Oil prices retreated on Friday after a brief spike that pushed New York crude above $US70 per barrel for the first time in seven months.

A government report said employers in the United States cut 345,000 jobs last month - the fewest since September and far less than forecast,

New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in July closed at $US68.44, down 34 cents, after a jump to $US70.32 per barrel - the highest level since 4 November.

Brent North Sea crude for July delivery fell 37 cents to $US68.34 per barrel in London, having spiked as high as $US69.91.

The Department of Energy announced on Wednesday that US crude oil inventories rose 2.9 million barrels in the week ending 29 May to 366 million barrels.

Oil reached $US147.37 per barrel on 11 July last year, then fell to nearly $US32 per barrel in December, due to the economic slowdown.