Oil prices down in Asia on weak US data

Oil prices fell in Asia on Monday as weak economic data from the United States sparked concerns over softer demand for crude, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in June was down 29 cents to $92.71 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for June delivery shed 46 cents to $102.70 in afternoon trade.

"The weak (US) GDP data questions business conditions in the market, signalling that inventories may rise as demand softens," said Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore.

The United States is the world's biggest economy and oil consumer.

The US Commerce Department said Friday the economy grew 2.5 percent in the first quarter of 2013, below the average analyst forecast of 2.8 percent, with cuts in government spending offsetting private consumption and investment gains.

Federal government spending, hit by the "sequester" continued to drag on the economy.

The $85 billion across-the-board spending cuts over seven months officially came into effect on March 1, with the aim of rapidly paring the country's large deficit.

str/mba/dan