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Oil prices higher in mid-morning Asian trade

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

SINGAPORE (Thomson Financial) - World oil prices rebounded in mid-morning Asian trade on Thursday after plunging over continued fears for the US economy despite an emergency interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

The oil market has been dogged by fears in recent weeks that a US-led global economic slowdown could crimp world demand for energy.

In early morning trade, New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in March, rose 94 cents to 87.93 dollars a barrel.

The contract closed down 2.22 dollars at 86.99 dollars per barrel Wednesday, marking its lowest point in several weeks.

Brent North Sea crude for March delivery rose 88 cents to 87.50 dollars a barrel after settling down 1.83 dollars at 86.62 dollars per barrel in London on Wednesday.

New York oil prices have shed about 12 percent since striking a record high of 100.09 dollars at the start of January.

In an unexpected move Tuesday, the Fed slashed its key interest rate by an unprecedented 75 basis points to 3.50 percent in an effort to steady US stock markets, which have been badly spooked by recession fears.

Oil traders' attention on Thursday will turn to energy stockpiles in the United States, with the US Department of Energy expected to publish its weekly inventory report a day later than normal, owing to a public holiday on Monday.

Posted by MOHAMED SAID at 7:52 PM  


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