Oil prices down in Asia on profit taking

Oil prices down in Asia on profit taking
Singapore, Nov 29 (AFP) Crude prices retreated in Asian trade today as traders took profits from a rally the day before and European debt woes continued to worry the markets, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in January, fell 54 cents to USD 97.67 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for January delivery shed 49 cents to USD 108.51.

Traders were cashing out of the market after crude prices surged in overnight trade, with prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange hurdling USD 100 briefly before withdrawing, analysts said.

"Oil prices were boosted yesterday by the euro debt hopes and strong US consumer data over the Thanksgiving holidays," said Victor Shum, senior principal of Purvin and Gertz energy consultants in Singapore. "So the market this morning decided to take some profits," he told AFP.

Crude markets were lifted Monday by rumours of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout of heavily indebted Italy, which were later quashed by a denial from the organisation.

But traders were still cheered by record retail spending in the United States over the Thanksgiving weekend, with Americans forking out a record USD 52.4 billion in the Black Friday period, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said.

Sales over the long holiday weekend were up 16 per cent from last year, marking the biggest dollar amount ever spent over the period, which marks the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season, the NRF said.


Read more about: oil and gas, crude, debt crisis, imf
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