Oil eases on profit taking, demand jitters; stays near highest in years


Brent futures fell 24 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at US$83.18 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 20 cents, or 0.3%, to $80.44.

NEW YORK: Oil prices eased on Wednesday on worries that crude demand growth would slow, which ate into recent gains that had brought prices to multi-year highs in recent sessions.

Analysts noted that some traders likely took profits in U.S. crude after West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures hit their highest since October 2014 during the past three sessions.

Brent futures fell 24 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at US$83.18 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 20 cents, or 0.3%, to $80.44.

Prices came under pressure early when China, the world's biggest crude importer, released data showing September imports fell 15% from a year earlier.

The market is awaiting U.S. oil inventory data that analysts expect will show a 0.7 million barrel build in crude stocks. [EIA/S] [API/S]

Data from the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is due at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT) on Wednesday and from the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Thursday. The data was delayed by a day following the Columbus Day holiday on Monday.

Shortages of coal and natural gas in China, Europe and India have boosted prices for the fuels burned for electricity generation. - Reuters

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