SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil prices headed lower to near $84 a barrel Tuesday in Asia as fears of a recession in developed countries sent stock markets and commodities lower.
Benchmark oil for October delivery was down $2.13 to $84.32 at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude last settled at $86.45 on Friday because U.S. markets were closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday.
In London, Brent crude for October delivery was up 90 cents at $110.96 on the ICE Futures exchange.
European and Asian stock markets have sunk so far this week amid growing concern a debt crisis among countries using the euro common currency will undermine economic growth there and around the world.
A stagnant U.S. jobs market is also hurting confidence. The Labor Department said Friday that U.S. employers stopped adding jobs in August and the unemployment rate remained at 9.1 percent.
"Bottom line, it's not unreasonable to suggest the U.S. is in a jobs depression," energy consultant The Schork Group said in a report.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to announce new policy measures to spark job creation in a speech Thursday.
In other Nymex trading for October contracts, heating oil fell 3.3 cents to $2.96 per gallon and gasoline futures dropped 4.2 cents to $2.80 per gallon. Natural gas for October delivery gained 2.5 cents to $3.90 per 1,000 cubic feet.