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Oil prices mixed in volatile trade
by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) Nov 25, 2011

Oil prices were mixed in volatile trade on Friday, as concerns about the ongoing Iranian nuclear crisis were offset by new eurozone debt tensions.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in January, rose 60 cents to $96.77 a barrel.

Volume was weak in the United States thanks to the Thanksgiving weekend.

Brent North Sea crude for January slid $1.38 to $106.40.

"It was a quiet day overall with the US pretty much in holiday mode," said John Kilduff of Again Capital.

Earlier in the day the euro dropped to a seven-week low against the dollar, hitting demand for oil as a stronger US currency makes dollar-denominated crude more expensive for buyers using other, weaker currencies.

The euro plunged to $1.3226, its lowest point since October 4 as Thursday's meeting between France, Germany and Italy -- the eurozone's three biggest economies -- highlighted their differences on finding a solution to the region's debt problems.

Germany and France promised to reform EU governing treaties on Thursday but Chancellor Angela Merkel stood by her refusal to back eurobonds or widen the European Central Bank's role.

Oil prices have fallen for most of the week as traders also worry about slumping manufacturing activity in top global energy consumer China.

China's manufacturing activity fell to its lowest level in 32 months in November, according to preliminary data this week from banking giant HSBC.

The market has also been dented by weak economic growth data in the United States -- the world's biggest consumer of crude oil.

The US Commerce Department on Tuesday sharply lowered its third quarter growth estimate for the world's biggest economy to 2.0 percent from the 2.5 percent first stated.

Oil prices had risen at the start of the week on worries that the market could tighten after several Western countries imposed economic sanctions on crude producer Iran over its nuclear programme.


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Oil mixed as poor German bond sales, China data weigh
Singapore (AFP) Nov 24, 2011
Oil prices were mixed in Asian trade Thursday as European economic giant Germany saw poor bond sales and China's manufacturing data sank to a 32-month low, analysts said. New York's main contract for January delivery fell 24 cents to $95.93 per barrel while Brent North Sea crude for delivery in January rose 27 cents to $107.29. "Overall markets are under pressure," said Victor Shum, seni ... read more

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