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Oil prices holding after a drop due to mild U.S. weather

Oil prices holding after a drop due to mild U.S. weather

Oil trading was mostly flat Wednesday morning as traders gauged a fall of more than US$1 a barrel the day before and awaited a U.S. report that was expected to show a decline in inventories for the fifth straight week.
Oil and natural gas prices fell hard Tuesday amid mild winter weather in the United States that has depressed demand for home-heating fuels.
In European electronic trading Wednesday, light sweet crude for February delivery was up 4 cents to US$61.14 a barrel.
In London, Brent crude futures rose 27 cents to $61.37 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
Prices slid last week as brokers weighed slower economic growth and expectations of a mild winter _ which would slow demand for heating oil _ against OPEC's determination to tighten up worldwide supplies.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said earlier this month that it plans to reduce output by an additional 500,000 barrels a day beginning in February. That comes on top of a previously announced cut of 1.2 million barrels per day.
This week, traders are looking ahead to the weekly inventory report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. According to a survey by Dow Jones Newswires, crude oil stocks are expected to decline, while distillate and gasoline stocks should rise.
The report will be issued Thursday.
U.N. sanctions against Iran that were approved over the weekend could also raise concerns about supplies in 2007, though traders so far appear to have shrugged off the continuing dispute over Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
Iran has vowed to continue uranium enrichment despite U.N. economic sanctions passed Saturday that were aimed at forcing a rollback in its nuclear program.
In other Nymex trading, natural gas futures dropped 3.1 cents to US$6.082 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil futures rose marginally to US$1.6295 a gallon and unleaded gasoline slid 0.58 cents to US$1.5780 a gallon.


Updated : 2021-04-20 08:08 GMT+08:00