Oil hovers near 80 dollars

08:07, February 23, 2010      

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Oil prices hovers around 80 U.S. dollars a barrel on Monday as French refinery workers' strike added to investors' concerns on potential disruption on future gasoline supply.

Worries caused by French refinery workers' strike, which started last week, have been weighing on the market. Investors are concerned that U.S. supplies of refined fuel like gasoline will be disrupted.

Energy Information Administration's latest report showed a 379, 000-barrel-a-day drop in gasoline output to 8.4 million barrels last week, while gasoline imports fell 459,000 barrels a day to 709,000 barrels.

However, the dollar strengthened against the euro, capping oil prices' gains. Usually a rising greenback limits crude futures' appeal as an alternative investments.

Light, sweet crude for March delivery, which expires Monday, rose 35 cents to settle at 80.16 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The more active April contract rose 25 cents to settle at 80.31 dollars a barrel.

In London, Brent crude for April settlement rose 39 cents to 78. 58 dollars a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange.

Source: Xinhua
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