Oil prices dip, stay above 93 dollars in London

Friday, December 31st, 2010 | Finance News

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LONDON (AFP) – World oil prices dipped on Friday, a day after US data showed the country's crude stocks had declined less than expected, analysts said.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in February lost just a cent to 93.08 dollars a barrel in London trade.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for February fell 13 cents to 89.71 dollars a barrel.

"The slight drop in crude price... is likely due to US weekly data indicating lower-than-expected crude oil inventories drawdown," said Barclays Capital analyst Chen Xin Yi.

Figures released Thursday by the US Department of Energy showed crude stock piles had fallen by much less than expected, even given the cold weather in much of the United States.

Crude stocks fell by 1.3 million barrels, much lower than the nearly three million barrel drop that market analysts were predicting.

The United States is the world's biggest oil consuming nation and the weekly stocks report is widely monitored by the market.

Crude prices this week have been boosted by the extreme cold weather and blizzards across the northern hemisphere, with households using more heating oil.

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