Oil prices fall in Asia after hitting 10-month high

New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in October fell 13 cents to USD 71.92 a barrel.Brent North Sea crude for October delivery shed 41 cents to USD 71.41.
Profit-taking was the key factor behind the fall in oil prices, which briefly hit USD 75 yesterday, the highest level since October 2008 before the global recession unfolded.

"The theme of profit-taking was felt in oil markets," analysts from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia said in a report.

However, analysts expect underlying support for crude prices to remain strong after a key report showed US consumer confidence improving in August which should augur well for energy demand. The US is the world's biggest energy user.

The Conference Board, a business research firm, announced on Tuesday that US consumer confidence rose more than expected in August after two consecutive months of declines, buoyed by a jump in recovery hopes for the coming months.

Its consumer confidence index climbed to 54.1 in August from an upwardly revised 47.4 in July.The rebound in confidence was stronger than the 47.9 reading that most analysts had expected. The index had hit an eight-month peak of 54.8 in May.

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