NEW YORK, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- Crude prices retreated from four- month highs Monday along with equities as correctional pressure rose after recent gains.
Analysts said correcting pressure mounted for U.S. crude benchmark after eight straight weekly gains. In the past eight weeks, U.S. crude jumped 14 percent, while the Brent crude added 9 percent on more signs of growth in the United States and China, the world's top two oil consumers.
Traders agreed that the current market was over-bought, but it was still firmly in an uptrend and might regain the rising dynamic soon.
Meanwhile, the euro fell against the dollar Monday as borrowing costs for Italy and Spain increased, indicating concerns among bond investors that both countries may be unable to meet their financial obligations. A stronger dollar helped push down oil prices.
On the economic front, the Commerce Department said Monday that U.S. factory orders rose 1.8 percent in December from the month before, even though companies trimmed orders for the goods that signaled investment plans.
Data on Sunday showed China's services sector grew four months in a row by January, although the expansion was modest.
In the Middle East, tension and turmoil continued. A suicide car bomb exploded in Iraq on Sunday, killing at least 33 people. The blast was the third major attack in weeks in Iraq, adding to uncertainties in the region. Also, the confrontation between Iran and the West lingered over the former's nuclear program.
Light, sweet crude for March delivery lost 1.60 dollars, or 1. 64 percent, to settle at 96.17 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent crude for March delivery also slipped 1.16 dollars, or 0. 99 percent, to close at 115.60 dollars a barrel.