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SINGAPORE, Sept 24, 2010 (AFP)
Crude prices tumbled below 75 dollars in Asian trade Friday on worries over weak energy demand due to the faltering US economic recovery, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, slid 32 cents to 74.86 dollars a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for November delivery slipped 30 cents to 77.81 dollars.

An increase in US oil stockpiles last week continued to plague crude prices despite data released Thursday showing a rise in existing US home sales this month, said National Australia Bank minerals and energy economist Ben Westmore.

The report from the National Association of Realtors showed existing home sales rising 7.6 percent in August although the level of activity still remained depressed compared to pre-recession levels.

“The reason for the fall today is that markets are still eyeing the oil fundamentals situation… The rise in stockpiles boded particularly poorly for the oil market,” he said.

The US Department of Energy announced Wednesday that crude stockpiles climbed by one million barrels last week, against analyst expectations for a drop of 1.7 million barrels.

Stockpiles increased despite the closure of a key Canada-US pipeline last week, painting a grim picture of crude demand in the world’s largest energy consuming nation, Westmore stated.

The US Federal Reserve on Tuesday said the pace of recovery in the world’s biggest economy had “slowed in recent months” while warning that the rate of expansion would be “modest in the near term”.

It pointed to problems that plague the US economy such as high unemployment, low consumer spending and a moribund housing sector.

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