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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Oil prices fell depressed weakening U.S. and Chinese demand

Oil prices fell depressed weakening U.S. and Chinese demand

World oil prices fell on Thursday (Friday morning GMT ) , as U.S. distillate stocks fell less than expected despite severe winter weather and weak manufacturing data in China reduces demand expectations .

U.S. 's main futures contract , light sweet crude or West Texas Intermediate ( WTI ) for delivery in March , closed at 102.92 dollars per barrel , down 39 cents from Wednesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange , AFP reported .

Brent North Sea crude for April delivery , fell 17 cents to settle at 110.30 dollars a barrel in London trade .

Weekly oil inventories report U.S. Department of Energy ( DoE ) " slightly bearish , " said John Kilduff of Again Capital .

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories rose 1.0 million barrels in the week ending February 14 , less than the 1.8 million expected by analysts .

But spare distillation ( distilled ) U.S. , which include diesel and heating fuel , fell 300,000 barrels just not as estimated 1.9 million barrels .

Traders are closely monitoring the supply of heating fuel because of a series of winter storms and cold weather gripping most parts of the U.S. .

While gasoline inventories rose 300,000 barrels last week .

"The products of distillation and heating fuels will begin to lose their ability to support complex crude oil because winter is almost over , " said Kilduff .

Prices were also pressured by a report showing China's manufacturing activity contracted for a second consecutive month in February .

Preliminary data for the HSBC purchasing managers' index ( PMI ) fell to 48.3 China , the lowest level seven months , after slipping to 49.5 in January . A reading below 50 indicates contraction .

" Weak Chinese manufacturing data cool the red- hot oil complex , " said Phil Flynn of Price Futures Group .

" Other cracks in emerging markets could dampen the market's rise , " Flynn warned .

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