SINGAPORE: Oil prices eased in Asian trade on Friday pressured by a strengthening US dollar and weaker equity markets, analysts said.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, slid 66 cents to 84.85 dollars a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for June was down 61 cents to at 86.98 dollars.
"The US dollar has strengthened against the euro and with Asian equities pulling back, we see crude oil also pulling back moderately in line with the financial market's movements," Victor Shum, an analyst with energy consultancy Purvin and Gertz in Singapore, told AFP.
Oil prices, however, remain strong due to increased confidence about the global economic recovery, he added.
Stock markets in Hong Kong and Tokyo were lower in early trade Friday with the Hong Kong shares opening 1.05 percent lower shortly after opening and the benchmark Nikkei-225 index losing 0.67 percent.
The euro extended losses against the dollar on intensifying worries over Greece's debt woes. Oil prices tend to fall as the dollar rises, as a strengthening greenback makes the dollar-priced commodity more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies, denting demand.