Oil edges up after choppy trading

13:46, June 25, 2011      

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U.S. oil price edged up on Friday after a choppy trading day amid the 60 million barrels strategic release plan, European debt woes and rising dollar.

Light, sweet crude for August delivery gained 14 cents, or 0. 15 percent to settle at 91.16 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after it briefly dipped below 90 dollars. For this week, U.S. crude benchmark fell 2.0 percent, posting its third straight weekly loss.

In London, Brent crude for August delivery continued falling 2. 14 dollars, or 2 percent to close at 105.12 dollars a barrel. For the week, Brent crude tumbled 8.09 dollars, or 7.15 percent. This is its second straight weekly loss.

Brent's premium to U.S. benchmark contracted to 14 dollars from its record high of 22 dollars.

Analysts said the markets were still weighing the International Energy Agency's 60 million barrels strategic reserve plan, which initially caused crude plunge on Thursday.

European debt woes lingered. Investors worried Greece's parliament would not pass the new austerity plan. The euro, therefore, lost strength further. The dollar index, in contrast, rose, making oil more expensive and less attractive.

U.S. economy remained lackluster. But the reports on Friday offered some positive signs and gave U.S. oil lifts. According to the Commerce Department, gross domestic product grew at annual rate of 1.9 percent in the first quarter, up from the previous estimate of 1.8 percent. Durable goods orders report came in beating estimates, showing an increase of 1.9 percent after dropping 2.7 percent in April.

Source: Xinhua
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