Oil prices down on US debt ceiling concerns

SINGAPORE: Oil prices edged lower in Asian trade Monday on growing concerns the US budget crisis could spiral into a devastating debt default and ravage the global economy.

New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in November fell 57 cents to $103.27 in mid-morning trade, while Brent North Sea crude for November eased 40 cents to $109.06.

The US government shutdown looks set to drag into day seventh on Monday, as a series of marathon talks between Democrats and Republicans in Washington failed to reach a resolution to the stand-off.

US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned Sunday that Congress was “playing with fire” as Republicans raised the threat of a US default if President Barack Obama refuses to negotiate on spending.

Lew said the United States will run out of its ability to borrow money on October 17, and with only $30 billion in hand to meet obligations that can run to $60 billion a day, it will quickly default.