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Oil prices mixed in Asian trade

AFP | Last Updated: Monday, December 23, 2013 - 11:25

Singapore: Oil prices were mixed in Asian trade today as investors focused on upbeat US economic growth data, raising hopes of resurgent demand in the world's top crude consumer.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for February delivery, was down five cents at USD 99.27 in mid-morning trade while Brent North Sea crude for February gained five cents to USD 111.82.

Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said prices were being supported by robust US gross domestic product data last week, which was "way better than expected".

The US Commerce Department on Friday reported that economic growth accelerated to an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the third quarter, instead of the previously estimated 3.6 percent pace. Analysts had expected the revision to confirm the 3.6 percent number.

The upbeat data followed the Federal Reserve's announcement that it would cut its stimulus by USD 10 billion to USD 75 billion a month from January, indicating it is confident that economic conditions are improving.

Analysts continue to keep a close watch on potential supply disruptions in Africa.

Production in fledgling producer South Sudan has been hit by the escalation of internal strife in the country over the past week, with oil companies flying out their employees after the death of at least five South Sudanese oil workers last Wednesday.

First Published: Monday, December 23, 2013 - 11:25
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