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Oil trades near two-year high

December 23/2010

(Bloomberg) -- Crude traded little changed within 1 percent of a two-year high as economic growth in the U.S. and colder temperatures in the northern hemisphere whittle down excess fuel stockpiles.

Futures climbed as much as 0.3 percent after government reports yesterday showed U.S. crude supplies fell last week to the lowest in 10 months and gross domestic product expanded 2.6 percent in the third quarter. Oil rose as high as $90.80 yesterday, the strongest since Oct. 8, 2008.

Weather in the U.S. and Europe is supportive, and we had another big inventory drop, said Tobias Merath, head of commodities at Credit Suisse Group in Zurich. But these are mostly temporary factors, and when these fade I see a risk well move to the mid-$80s at the beginning of next year.

Crude for February delivery rose as much as 31 cents to $90.79 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $90.46 at 1:29 p.m. London time. Brent crude for February settlement was down 1 cent at $93.64 a barrel, after climbing as much as 0.3 percent to $93.91 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.


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