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Oil Falls on Profit Taking
Feb 21,2011 09:50CST
data analysis

NEW YORK, Feb. 21 -- Crude oil price fell slightly on Friday as investors took profit before contract expiration and a long weekend, but continued unrest in the Middle East kept a floor under prices.

Light, sweet crude for March delivery edged down 16 cents to 86. 20 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while the benchmark for April delivery rose 87 cents to settle at 89.71 dollars a barrel.

For the week, front-month crude rose 62 cents or 0.72 percent.

In London, Brent crude for April delivery lost 7 cents to settle at 102.52 dollars a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

U.S. markets will be closed next Monday for the Presidents' Day holiday. Investors tended to take profit as contract for March will expire next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, China raised bank reserve rate to control inflation, suggesting a potential economic slowdown in the big oil-consuming country.

But the continued instability in the Middle East gave oil prices a support. Clashes happened in Libya, Yemen and Bahrain between the protesters and police, causing deaths and injuries and sparking concerns about supply disruption among investors.

The dollar index dropped on Friday, which also limited the losses of oil prices.


crude oil

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