Oil prices stabilize at US$71 a barrel

Oil prices stabilized at US$71 levels in Asian trading. Light, sweet crude for September delivery steadied at US$71.58 a barrel in Asian electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, midmorning in Singapore. September Brent crude settled at US$70.27 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange in London. The previous sessions saw a fall in oil prices on concerns over the U.S. economy. Factors that were responsible for the decline were reports suggesting a US sluggish economy. The U.S. Labor Department reported the number of people signing up for jobless benefits grew last week, while many retailers reported disappointing July sales. French bank BNP Paribas froze three securities funds, saying it no longer knows what they are worth because of problems in the U.S. subprime market.
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