Oil falls below 90 USD on profit-taking

08:11, December 31, 2010      

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Crude prices on Thursday fell sharply below 90 U.S. dollars a barrel as investors took profits before year-end.

Oil declined from its 26-month high above 91 dollars a barrel despite the supportive inventories drop and economic data.

U.S. Energy Information Administration reported on Thursday, oil inventories fell for a fourth straight week, down 1.3 million barrels in the December 24 week to 339.4 million. Gasoline inventories fell 2.3 million barrels to 214.9 million.

The Labor Department reported, initial jobless claims fell a very steep and very surprising 34,000 in the December 25 week to a suddenly sub-400,000 level of 388,000, and the four-week average fell a steep 12,500 to 414,000, indicating improvement in the labor market.

Total U.S. crude futures trading volume has been thin during the holiday week and was above 294,000 lots after midday in New York, compared with the 30-day average of 576,181.

Light, sweet crude for February delivery dipped 1.28 dollars, or 1.40 percent, to 89.84 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile.

Source: Xinhua
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