Oil Prices Drop On US Reserve Data

31 Dec

NEW YORK – Oil prices fell on Thursday as dealers reacted to US data that showed a smaller than expected drop in weekly energy inventory numbers.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for February slid 1.28 dollars to 89.84 dollars a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in February shed 1.05 dollars to 93.09 dollars a barrel in London.

The market was dominated by news that the US Department of Energy reported crude stock piles had fallen by much less than expected, even given the cold weather in much of the Untied States.

Crude stocks fell by 1.3 million barrels, much less that nearly three million barrel drop expected.

Distillate stocks, including heating oil, rose.

“(Prices) came under pressure when the DoE inventories came out,” said Andy Lipow of Lipow Oil Associates.

“We saw that distillate inventories in spite of the cold weather had risen, that is indicative of refineries running at very high utilization and supplying products to the market.”

“I also think that there is some profit taking as we go to the end of the year as crude oil rallied over the last couple of months.”

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia

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