Oil prices fell to fresh one-month lows in Asian trade Tuesday, shadowing equities markets as weak US employment data continued to put a dampener on trader sentiment, analysts said.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in August, shed 80 cents to 71.34 dollars a barrel, continuing its slide from Monday when it had dipped below June lows.
Brent North Sea crude for August delivery fell 52 cents to 70.95 dollars.
"The sentiment in the market has been quite bearish... the market is still reacting to the weak US private sector employment data," he said.
"This bearish sentiment is therefore putting downward pressure on oil."
Oil prices tumbled by more than eight percent last week as weak US economic data sparked fears about the strength of the global recovery.
The US economy shed 125,000 jobs in June, official data showed Friday. Most analysts had expected a loss of 100,000 jobs.
Asian equities' weak opening on Tuesday, particularly the Japanese Nikkei index, which fell 106.09 points or 1.14 percent to 9,160.69 in the first minutes of trading, also weighed on oil prices, Shum added.
"Oil has been really handcuffed to equities.... Nikkei is down this morning, so oil is down as well."
However, Shum said prices would hold at current levels as some traders felt the market had been oversold and bought up cheap crude.
Source: AFP Asian Edition