Crude prices stay above 82 U.S. dollars in New York

08:41, March 12, 2010      

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Crude prices stayed above 82 U.S. dollars per barrel on the New York market on Thursday as investors digested economic data from the United States and China, the two major energy consumers in the world.

Crude prices slid in the early trading as consumer inflation soared to a 16-month high in China. Traders worried that Chinese demand will slow as the government is to tackle rising inflation.

The U.S. Labor Department said on Thursday that workers filing for jobless benefits for the first time fell slightly less than expected. Meanwhile, the U.S. trade deficit narrowed unexpectedly in January as oil imports fell to their lowest since February 1999.

Those news weighed on markets, but falling gasoline inventories in the United States supported prices.

Light, sweet crude for April delivery rose 2 cents to settle at 82.11 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In London, Brent crude fell 20 cents to settle at 80.28 dollars on the ICE Futures Exchange.

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