Oil falls near 2 percent; eyes on Europe debt woes

PERTH (BestGrowthStock) – Oil prices fell more nearly 2 percent on Monday, extending the previous session’s steep decline, amid poor U.S. jobs data and as dire warnings by Hungary’s new government reignited market concern about Europe’s debt woes.

U.S. crude for July delivery fell $1.26, or 1.8 percent, to $70.25 a barrel by 2301 GMT. The contract fell $3.10 to settle at $71.51 on Friday.

ICE Brent fell 99 cents to $71.10 on Monday.

“There are lingering concerns about the European fiscal problems and also of course, the weak U.S. jobs numbers on Friday also added to the gloom,” said Toby Hassall, chief commodities analyst at CWA Global Markets Pty Ltd in Sydney.

“In addition to that, the strengthening U.S. dollar is also adding pressure as well. It’s a multitude of negative influences out there that are currently pressuring oil prices.”

Asian stocks are also set to fall on Monday, tracking steep losses in the U.S. market which saw the Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) lost 3.15 percent and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (.SPX: ) 3.4 percent.

Hungary’s government sought to draw a line under “exaggerated” talk of a possible Greek-style debt crisis and said on Saturday it aimed to meet this year’s budget deficit target.

Despite attempts to calm markets, Hungary’s debt woes have reignited fears that more Eastern European nations could reveal financial frailties.

Dismal jobs data released by the U.S. government on Friday also dented investors’ hopes for a smooth economic recovery in the world’s largest energy consumer.

The data showed the economy added fewer jobs in May than expected, with many of them temporary hirings for the U.S. Census, which the government conducts once a decade.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by about 431,000 jobs on the surge in government hiring, but private employment, which measures the labor market’s strength, rose 41,000, a number that analysts said was disappointing.

Oil prices as of 2258 GMT

Contract Mnth Price Change Day ago pct MA-20*

NYMEX Contracts

US Crude JUL0 $70.23 -1.28 -$3.10 -4.15% $72.40

Heat Oil JUL0 193.57 -2.20 -8.14 -3.99% 200.13

RBOB JUL0 197.45 -2.08 -8.59 -4.13% 205.36

Natgas JUL0 $4.845 +0.048 +$0.107 +2.28% $4.265

ICE Contracts

Brent JUL0 $71.07 -1.02 -$3.32 -4.40% $74.78

Gasoil JUN0 $615.75 -10.75 -$12.00 -1.88% $636.54

Note: U.S. heating oil and RBOB gasoline contracts listed in cents per gallon.

* = 20-day moving average for continuation month.

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(Reporting by Fayen Wong; editing by Ed Davies)

Oil falls near 2 percent; eyes on Europe debt woes