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Saturday, January 03, 2015, Poush 20, 1421, Robiul Awal 11, 1436 Hijr

Oil prices up in Asia on thin New Year trading
Published : Saturday, 3 January, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 5

SINGAPORE, Jan 2:  Oil prices rose today in thin Asian trading during the first session of the New Year, as dealers welcomed a larger-than-expected drop in US crude stockpiles, analysts said.
West Texas Intermediate for February delivery, the US benchmark, rose 56 cents to $53.83 in afternoon trade. Brent crude for February gained 12 cents to $57.45.
In the Asia-Pacific region, markets in China, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand were closed on Friday for a public holiday.
"We are seeing thin volumes with the festive season still ongoing," Daniel Ang, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore, told AFP.
"The gains in Asian trading are likely because of the positive US crude stockpiles data released on Wednesday," Ang added.
US crude reserves fell by 1.8 million barrels in the week to December 26, the US Energy Information Administration said in its last petroleum report for 2014 released on Wednesday.
The figure upended expectations for an increase of 900,000 barrels projected in a Bloomberg survey.
A decline in US crude stocks typically indicates strong demand in the world's top oil consumer, pushing global prices up.
US crude production meanwhile stood at more than nine million barrels per day, its highest level in more than 30 years.

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