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Oil mixed in Asian trade

Jan 11 2013 07:36

Singapore - Oil was mixed in Asia on Friday with some traders taking profits after stronger-than-expected trade data out of China, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in February, gained 10 cents to $93.92 a barrel in morning trade while Brent North Sea crude for February dropped 18 cents to $111.71.

"We're seeing some profit-taking... after the ticking up of oil prices yesterday," said Jason Hughes, the head of premium client management at IG Markets in Singapore.

Crude prices hit three-month highs on Thursday after a surge in China's trade surplus sparked hopes that the world's second-largest economy and biggest energy user was firing up again.

China's trade surplus soared 48.1% to $231.1bn in 2012, though total trade volume grew at a much slower pace in the face of economic weakness at home and abroad, official data showed on Thursday.

The country's exports rose 7.9% to $2.05 trillion from the year before, while imports increased 4.3% to $1.82 trillion, the national customs bureau said.

News of a crude production cut by the world's top oil exporter Saudi Arabia also supported prices, Phillip Futures said in a report.

The country slashed oil production by 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) to nine million bpd during the last two months of 2012, the report stated.

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commodities  |  markets  |  oil



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