SINGAPORE (Commodity Online) : Global oil prices reversed trends in Asian trade Friday and dropped below $73 a barrel as the market awaits for more clues from US Fed chairman's scheduled speech later today.

Light sweet crude for October delivery was seen trading at $72.99 a barrel at 12.00 noon Singapore time while Brent crude was at $74.69 a barrel in London.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is likely to discuss the uncertain prospects for the economy in a speech to fellow central bankers later in the day.

Analysts said the black gold is likely to end the week lower for a third straight week as weak US economic data pervaded crude markets which was up over record oil inventories and weak housing and manufacturing data.

The US DoE said crude inventories soared 4.1 million barrels last week, much more than the 200,000 drop analysts had expected, while gasoline stockpiles rose 2.3 million barrels, against forecasts for a 500,000-barrel decline.

On Thursday, oil prices rose for a second day after six straight days of declines, as the dollar fell and investors latched onto a government report that new requests for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week.

Benchmark oil for October delivery added 84 cents to settle at $73.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In London, Brent crude jumped $1.54 to settle at $75.02 on the ICE Futures exchange.