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Crude Dips On Demand Concerns

The pride of crude oil was moving lower Friday morning as traders fret over demand growth amid global economic concerns and the US fiscal cliff.

The US "fiscal cliff" that would lead to tax hikes and spending cuts of about $600 billion will kick in early next year if the Congress fails to avert them.

Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures for January delivery, the most actively traded contract, shed $0.22 to $85.65 a barrel. Yesterday, oil settled lower on demand growth concerns after an Energy Information Administration weekly oil report showed an increase in U.S. crude stockpiles for the last week. Investors also weighed a slew of macroeconomic data out of the U.S. and Europe fueling further fears of global economic growth slowdown.

Thursday during trading hours, the EIA said U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased by 1.10 million barrels, while gasoline stocks shed 0.40 million barrels in the weekended November 09. Analysts were expecting crude oil inventories to gain by 1.50 million barrels last week

This morning, the U.S. dollar was steady around its 2-month high versus the euro and sterling. The buck was hovering around its 7-month high versus the yen, while ticking higher against the Swiss franc.

In economic news, the euro zone trade surplus increased to EUR 9.8 billion in September, Eurostat reported. The surplus totaled EUR 5.2 billion in August and EUR 1.7 billion in September 2011. On a seasonally adjusted basis, exports dropped 1.1 percent in September month-on-month, partially offsetting a 3.3 percent rise in August. Likewise, imports slipped 2.7 percent after increasing 2.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the euro area current account surplus declined to EUR 0.8 billion in September from EUR 10.9 billion in August, the European Central Bank said.

by RTT Staff Writer

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